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Family reunited

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been wracked with conflict since the 1990s, with over 3 million killed. Mrs T was a member of a dissident political organisation in DRC. In 2003, she was detained by DRC authorities and subject to horrific torture. In 2004, she fled to the UK and sought asylum. Asylum was refused as her account was considered inconsistent. JCWI obtained medical evidence to show PTSD and trauma had affected her memory, and she was granted asylum in 2008.
Throughout her asylum claims, Mrs T repeatedly and continually mentioned her family in DRC. She had lost contact with her children after being detained in 2003. In 2008, through the British Red Cross, she finally traced her children, who had found shelter in a church in DRC. Intent on reuniting with her children, her limited resources and the conflict in DRC meant she could only reunite with one of them, BT, in 2011. Four years later LM, BT’s twin brother, was refused refugee family reunion because the Home Office didn’t accept he was Mrs T’s son. Their relationship was proven by a DNA test. Meanwhile, Mrs T was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
The Home Office continued to argue that LM had an independent life in DRC and could maintain his relationship with his mum and sister through the internet and telephone. We argued that living on a church floor, desperate to be reunited with his family, was certainly not an independent life.
The Tribunal allowed the appeal, and directed that the Home Office grant entry clearance to LM. Finally, after 12 years, Mrs T is about to be reunited with her child.

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