(CN) – A police officer from Cameroon should not have been denied asylum by U.S. immigration authorities, because she made a credible case that she would be tortured in her homeland, the 7th Circuit ruled.
Lynda Kadia fled Cameroon after she was arrested by Cameroon’s special police force, which accused her of spying for the Americans. Her captors accused her of supporting a student strike, plotting to overthrow Cameroon’s government, and smuggling arms into her village.
She testified that she was held in a windowless room for 18 days, where she was beaten and raped while pregnant. After the ordeal, she allegedly suffered a miscarriage.
Kadia fled to the United States. An immigration judge doubted her story and denied her asylum. The Board of Immigration Appeals confirmed the judge’s ruling.
Judge John Tinder of the Chicago-based federal appeals court vacated the decision. He ruled that Kadia had met the standard of alleging acts against her that “rise above the level of mere harassment.
“The violence she suffered was motivated by the political opinion her captors attributed, rightly or wrongly, to her,” Tinder added.