A Polish citizen has been granted asylum in Norway after his complaint has been processed at the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE). Both the asylum seeker and his lawyer were surprised but satisfied with the ruling.
Human rights activist Rafal Gawel came to Norway in January last year with his wife and children.
Two days after his arrival, his political asylum application was rejected by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
He immediately appealed the decision.
The Immigration Appeals Board has now unanimously ruled that his complaint should be upheld, according to newspaper VG.
“This means that the complainant is a refugee under the Immigration Act and that he will receive a residence permit for one year, which can be renewed. It provides him the opportunity for family immigration and a permanent residence permit later. The complainant is also allowed to work in Norway,” the decision stated.
The board was convinced that the complainant risks persecution upon return to his home country.
“As far as I know, in recent times, a citizen from Poland, an EU country, was never defined as a refugee and received protection in Norway.
“The evidence presented to the tribunal was obviously so convincing that they came to this conclusion,” Oslo lawyer Lukaz Niedzielski, Gawel’s lawyer, said.
Department head Marianne Granlund at the Immigration Appeals Board confirmed that it is very rare for the tribunal to grant asylum to citizens from European countries.
“The documentation was so extensive here, and the complainant’s explanation was so convincing that UNE was convinced he was entitled to protection,” she said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today