SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An Ethiopian dissident who claimed government agents whipped her feet with electrical wires was wrongly found to lack credibility, the 9th Circuit ruled.
Etagegn Haile Tekle applied for asylum and relief under the Convention Against Torture. She is a member of the Oromo Liberation Front, which seeks independence for the Oromo race in Ethiopia.
Tekle testified that Ethiopian government agents tried to get her to disclose her husband’s whereabouts by beating her “continuously” on the bottoms of her feet with electrical wires.
Fletcher ruled that the immigration judge misunderstood Tekle’s testimony and subsequently found her not to be credible.
“Tekle never testified or even suggested that she was beaten throughout her two-week detention,” Fletcher wrote. “The immigration judge simply misunderstood, or misremembered, the context in which Tekle used the word ‘continuously.'”
During the hearing, the immigration judge complained that the 9th Circuit will only uphold an adverse credibility finding “in one case out of every 250 to 300.”
Fletcher responded that the circuit has affirmed adverse credibility findings 80 percent of the time in the last three years.