Man Persecuted for Promoting Northern Cameroon's Separation
Country: United States of America
Issues: Asylum / Migrant Rights
Mr. R led awake on an October morning in 2004 in Cameroon, a government soldier holding a gun to his head. He was taken to a military barracks, beaten and tortured. He was released the next day after his wife paid for his "freedom." His first stop was at a hospital, where he spent eight days recovering from the severity of his beatings.
Following another arrest, he fled Cameroon. His first destination was Belgium. When he learned Cameroon had formally requested the Belgian government repatriate Cameroonian nationals, he left Belgium in 2008 and headed for the United States.
When Mr. R's initial asylum application in the United States was referred to an immigration judge, a friend encouraged him to get help from The Advocates for Human Rights. With support from The Advocates and volunteer attorneys from Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, he gained asylum in 2011. He secured his green card in 2013, giving him permanent residency in the U.S.
Secure, Mr. R turned his focus on bringing his family to the United States. Shira Shapiro of Robins Kaplan is working with him on what has proven to be a pain-staking process.Mr. R is working to complete a master's degree in manufacturing systems at the University of St. Thomas; he wants to earn a PhD in the future.