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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Simply being Roma from Hungary is not proof of persecution, refugee judge rules

The Federal Court of Canada has rejected the refugee claim of a Hungarian man of Roma background by dismissing the portrayal of sweeping, generalized persecution against the Roma in his homeland.
The man’s credibility was also questioned over his reliance on a variation of a classic excuse: his dog ate his cellphone.
The case of Mario Gyula Varga is the latest clash over Canada’s reception of the diasporic Roma.
“What does it take to be a refugee? Is it enough to simply prove that one is a Hungarian Roma? Mr. Varga’s counsel came perilously close to making that submission,” Justice Sean Harrington began his stern ruling.
“It seems to me that [Mr. Varga’s lawyer’s] submission is that the only reasonable assessment of country conditions in Hungary is that each and every one of its 200,000 to 500,000 citizens of Roma background has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, and that on the balance of probabilities, each and every one’s life is at personal risk, or that each and every one is at risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
“If it be so, then Hungary is a failed state. Yet it is not,” Justice Harrington wrote in his ruling last week.

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