27 January 2016
Mayer Brown secured a grant of political asylum for an Ethiopian law professor. Mr. A used his position to voice his opposition to violations of basic human and civil rights in his country describing, among other things, the miserable conditions in Ethiopia’s prisons. As a result, he was arrested and detained in one of the very prisons that he had condemned. He was beaten and tortured, as the Ethiopian government attempted to force him to retract his scholarship and to falsely announce that his research data was fabricated. He was also warned that he would suffer even more brutal treatment if he failed to do as he was ordered. Rather than choose between disavowing his work and living in constant fear of further persecution, Mr. A came to the United States to seek asylum.
Chicago Corporate associate Michael Baumert represented Mr. A in his petition for asylum and asylum interview. Michael was supervised by Washington DC counsel Catherine Bernard. The matter was referred to the firm by Human Rights First.