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Asylum Granted for Zimbabwean Political Activist

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Barack Ferrazzano and NIJC Continue Commitment to Protecting Refugees

Barack Ferrazzano and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) won asylum for a Zimbabwean political activist who was tortured for his peaceful opposition to Zimbabwe's ruling party, marking their third partnership and third victory for a detained asylum seeker this winter.

Our client campaigned peacefully for the Movement for Democratic Change, an opposition party in Zimbabwe. Due to his opposition to the authoritarian policies of the ruling party, agents of the Zimbabwe government tortured, beat and threatened him on numerous occasions. He fled to the United States in September 2018 and was immediately jailed in McHenry County, Illinois while awaiting trial.

With the help of NIJC and the Firm’s attorneys our client won asylum and reunited with his wife and newborn child, who was born while he was detained in Illinois. Given only a few weeks to prepare for trial, Barack Ferrazzano's team tracked down corroborating witnesses in Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as testimony from an expert on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and a forensic medical examiner. The presiding judge commended their presentation as one of the most through he had ever seen.

The pro bono team consisted of partners Andrew E. Nieland and Andrea L. Sill, associate Michael J. B. Pitt, paralegals Lisette Ochoa and Diane Poulos and legal assistant Sarah Bendelow.

View below to see our client with our pro bono team.


About The National Immigrant Justice Center

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) — a Heartland Alliance program — is a legal aid organization, dedicated to protecting human rights and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. In addition to legal services NIJC serves these vulnerable groups through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. NIJC has provided legal services to more than 10,000 individuals with a success rate of 90% in asylum cases.

To learn more about the NIJC, visit: https://www.immigrantjustice.org

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