Page 1

March 2016 9:45 Administrative Court 33 K ...A... Public session Magomed Suleymanov Legal counsel, lawyer K.T. Sole presiding judge D.M. Federal Republic of Germany represented by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, represented by the Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees. Asylum law – Principal Proceedings

In the Courtroom Judge: The defendant has not appeared. The Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees was also invited and did not appear. As is apparent in the press, the agency is overwhelmed and will hopefully be available per telephone soon. Ms T. will be the interpreter today. Do you speak Russian with one another? Is it possible to communicate? Plaintiff: Yes. Judge: First of all, the circumstances of the case as they are portrayed in the file: Mr Suleymanov, you were born in 1986. You come from Dagestan. In 2006 you came to Germany and applied for asylum. Your application was unsuccessful. In 2010 you went back to Dagestan. In 2011 you returned to Germany and reapplied for asylum using a false identity. In 2012 your application for asylum was refused. You left once again. In Dagestan you married. Since January 2013 you have been in Germany once more, now for the third time. The Federal Agency refused your application; the present action has been brought against this refusal. Mr Suleymanov, I would like you to tell me why you left Dagestan in 2011. You have not yet had an opportunity to present your case to the Federal Agency; you can do that now.

Plaintiff: I wanted to become self-employed. I had found out self-employment in Germany. Anyone can start a business. I mortgaged the family home in order to get together the seed capital. I received the money as a loan. Judge(dictating): “Ahmed, a friend of mine, was a mechanic. He examined and evaluated cars. Afterwards, we sold the cars.” Plaintiff: The business was run in the following way: Somebody would bring a car to us. Ahmed would say, for example, that car is worth 50,000 euros. Then the person would receive that sum of money. Either the person would bring back the money by a certain date, around 55,000 euros, or we would keep the car and sell it on. It worked like a pawnshop. Judge: It is very important that you present the facts of your case very accurately. First you said that you sold the family home. Then you said that you mortgaged it. It is the same with the cars. First you said that you bought and sold cars. The information that I have here is very contradictory. You must express your self very precisely. Plaintiff: We did everything by the book. We had a notary who wrote up all of the contracts. And everything was running very well. Judge(dictating): “The first inspection took place three months later. They looked through all of our papers and found nothing. Everything was in order.”

Plaintiff: Two weeks later there was another inspection. It was a different group of people. I told them that we had already been inspected. They said that they knew nothing about that. They made fun of me. They said how can such a young man start a business like this? He probably stole the money in Germany like everybody else. I showed them where the money came from, that I had mortgaged the family home. Judge(dictating): “They said that the situation in Dagestan had changed, that I needed protection. Otherwise the forests would come. ‘Forests’ – by that I mean the combatants who hide in the forest. They said that I should pay now. We refused. I didn’t know what I was paying for. Then they said: ‘You have been warned’, and drove away.” Judge: You submitted an affidavit with your lawyer, Mr O., in which you did not mention your business partner. Your affidavit says: “I started the business, I bought the cars”. I, I, I – everywhere just “I”. Plaintiff: I would like to explain: I only saw my lawyer two times. I told him about Ahmed, but I don’t know what the lawyer wrote down. When the refusal came he apologised and said he couldn’t do any more for me. Lawyer: It’s an affidavit – I can’t just ignore it… Plaintiff: I told him about Ahmed. Judge: When did you start the business?

Plaintiff: I started it in August 2010. Judge: See, you just said “I” again. Plaintiff: Because it was my capital, that’s why. Judge: When did your parents die? Plaintiff: My father died when I was a child, my mother in 2006. I came to Germany after she died. Judge: At the Foreigner’s Office, you said that your passport was at your mother’s house. Plaintiff: I might have. Perhaps. I can’t remember. I was scared of being deported. Judge: I understand that people get scared and lie. But you could have also said that it was in your home country. Lawyer: It might be that he meant the family home. Plaintiff: I apologise for saying it that way. Judge: That might be the case. But these kinds of things appear over and over again in your file… Back to the events. What else happened?

Plaintiff: In January 2010, a police van came with six masked men inside. They were very rough from the get-go. They were asking about the papers again. Judge(dictating): “I showed them all of the papers. The men took the keys from the key cabinet and inspected all of the cars. In one of the cars, in the space where the spare tyre is usually kept, they found hand grenades, ammunition and a pistol. I immediately produced the papers with the name of the car owner. Ahmed and I were arrested and taken to the station.” Plaintiff: The police told us that the man that the car belonged to had already been interrogated. He told them that the weapons did not belong to him. Judge(dictating): “Ahmed was released because he was only my ‘worker‘. I remained under arrest and wasn’t interrogated until three days later. I was treated like a ball. Everybody hit me and pushed me. I was also told that I had been warned. My friends found a lawyer and money was paid for my release. I had to sign a ban on leaving the country. My friends told me to leave town.” Judge: There is no mention of the interrogation in the affidavit. Plaintiff: I told Mr O. that I had been interrogated. As I said, I don’t know what he did with that information.

Lawyer: It could also be an error in translation. He said that he wasn’t interrogated until three days later. We lawyers do not have such wonderful interpreters as the ones here in the courts. We deal with friends. There are so many contradictions that arise due to incorrect translations. It all catches up with us in the end. Plaintiff: I also gave the lawyer my medical certificates and the ban on leaving the country. When I came back to Germany, Mr O. had retired and his successor could no longer find my papers. Lawyer: I can only confirm this account. The first thing that the plaintiff said to me when he came to me was, “Please get the papers from Mr O.” Judge: Did something happen during the time you spent in Germany? Judge(dictating): In response to the question if anything happened in his home country in the 10 months in which the plaintiff was in Germany, the plaintiff answered: “Of course. They asked after me. Especially when there was an assassination attempt, the police came and looked for me. They thought I had become a combatant.” Plaintiff: Ahmed was also being monitored… The judge is silent. A long pause. She stares at the paper on which she is taking notes.

Judge: And you hid for several months? Plaintiff: I am embarrassed. But I sat there. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have a choice. My friends brought me food. Judge: When did you marry? Plaintiff: In August, on the 20th of August, I can still remember exactly because a group was surrounded in a house. The police killed many people. There was a huge raid, it was all over the television. On the same day they killed Ahmed in his home. Judge: Where did you meet your wife? Plaintiff: She was Ahmed’s younger sister. I watched her grow up. What do you want me to say? I was always attracted to her. She is a very quiet and lovely woman. I just like her. Ahmed always asked me if I would look after his mother and his sisters. Fatima wears a veil. Do you know what that means where we come from? They thought that Ahmed was teaching her and preparing her for something. Judge(dictating): “In Dagestan a veiled woman is considered suspicious.” Judge: You were living in hiding. That doesn’t seem to be a very opportune situation in which to get married Plaintiff: Maybe it sounds stupid, but for us that’s normal. In Dagestan we all have problems, unless you are related to a politician.

Once my friends had taken care of the money we left. I had to leave again. I wasn’t alone anymore. I had to take care of Fatima. She is so sick, depressed and… Judge: Your wife’s illness plays no part here. It will be explained in her proceedings. I just cannot say when they will take place. But I think they will end well for her. Did you live together once you were married? Plaintiff: No, I sent Fatima to her mother. She was then brought back to me before the departure. Judge: Ms T., do you have any more questions for the plaintiff? Otherwise we could get some air and then continue with the wife. Plaintiff: I just wanted to say that I am starting work next week. (Takes papers from his bag) Lawyer, quietly to the plaintiff: That is not important here. After the break Judge: The session is continued at 11:22. Mrs Suleymanova, you are brought here today as a witness. As the plaintiff’s wife you are entitled to say nothing, but you may not lie. You are compelled to tell the truth. Would you like to testify? Witness (speaks in a whisper): Yes. Judge: Did your brother work with your husband?

Witness: Yes. Judge: When did your brother die? Witness covers her face with her hand. Begins to cry. Loudly. Judge(dictating): In response to the question of how her brother died, the witness begins to cry. Judge: Where did you meet your husband? Witness: We grew up together in the same neighbourhood. Judge: Why did you decide to marry him? Witness: My brother suggested it. I agreed to it. Judge: Once you were married, where did you live with your husband? Witness: In the family home. Lawyer: What kinds of problems did your husband have? Witness: My brother and my husband had problems. But they did not tell me what those problems were. Judge: Ms T., do you have any further questions for the witness?

Lawyer: Did you also live at your mother’s house after the wedding? Witness: Yes. Lawyer: Did you have any problems? Witness: After Ahmed was killed, people came to our home. They said that my husband should surrender; otherwise they would find him and kill him. At 11:40 the plaintiff is shown into the courtroom. Judge: Your wife said that you lived in the family home after the wedding. Plaintiff: She meant her mother’s house. I don’t want to speak about it in her presence, but she often gets things confused. We have already told the doctor about it. Lawyer: I would like to say the following in conclusion. The plaintiff is applying for asylum for the third time. As a result, many contradictions have been produced. But the plaintiff has told the core story credibly. The main events and that there was a brother called Ahmed, that he was killed, have been proven by the wife’s testimony. That such stories of persecution take place in Dagestan is also well known. And I doubt that the plaintiff can go into hiding elsewhere in Russia. Judge: I never accepted that there was a possibility of going into hiding in Russia. If somebody is being persecuted there, they are being persecuted throughout the country.

Lawyer: I have cases where Russia has demanded extradition here in Germany. Judge: I have also dealt with a similar extradition request. But we can talk about that later. I have now been dictating for 20 minutes. I will go through everything again. The parties will be notified of the decision. I thank you. The session is ended at 11:50.


Refugees' Library Vol. 17 - Magomed, Dagestan(English)  
Refugees' Library Vol. 17 - Magomed, Dagestan(English)