9 Making the Case for Political Asylum For an individual seeking asylum in this country, presenting a strong, well-documented narrative can mean the difference between obtaining permanent status or being deported. These stories give a voice to the heart of human rights representation. Freedom of Speech While speaking on a radio talk show in Uganda, “Daniel” learned that the country’s rulers had taken action against the kingdom’s leader, and he protested on the air. An opposition party official, he was then abducted by ruling party operatives and tortured in a so-called safe house. Eventually an official released him—by throwing him from a truck in a body bag. After fleeing to the United States, Daniel made his way to Mintz Levin through the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, which was able to place his case with the firm. Attorneys Jonathan Ursprung and Jon Kravetz collaborated with Daniel to prepare his asylum application, working diligently to record his narrative and gain his trust. “It was such a terrible thing that was done to him, and it was pretty emotionally intense for him to have to relive the experience, especially during the first several meetings,” says Jonathan. “Someone you don’t know is telling you about the worst thing that’s happened to him, and you’re challenging him on every detail. But the story has to be presented in the most compelling way possible.” Project Analyst Chris Termyn assembled material about Uganda to support Daniel’s claims, and litigators Matt Hurley and Wynter Lavier led him through mock interviews to prepare him for his asylum hearing. The team also obtained testimony confirming that Daniel suffered from post- traumatic stress disorder. After months of hard work, the combined efforts of Daniel and his team paid off. In March 2012, he was granted asylum. Today, Daniel’s attorneys are working to bring his family to the United States. He is driving a bus but has bigger plans. He holds a degree in rural economics and development, and he is very entrepreneurial, Jonathan says. Freedom from Fear “Louise”from the Republic of Congo was a politically active individual whose convictions put her in conflict with the policies of her country’s ruling party. Her beliefs also angered her husband, a prominent party member. After Louise defied him and attended an opposition meeting, he scalded her with boiling water and beat her until she was unconscious. Louise spent months in the hospital recovering and underwent several reconstructive surgeries.When she tried to return home, she was kidnapped, assaulted, and raped for three days. In May 2009, after learning that her husband had ordered the attack, Louise fled to New York City, knowing she couldn’t turn to the Congolese police for protection. Life & Liberty Words cannot describe, but thank you for all of your hard work; I can truly say that you are my friends. Daniel Asylee from Uganda The Power of Partnerships continued