10 July 2007
On July 10, 2007, the Arlington Asylum Office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services granted asylum to our client, an Iraqi national, with derivative asylum status going to his wife, also an Iraqi national. Our client was represented pro bono by Michael Paisner of the Washington, D.C. office, with assistance from a summer associate, Michele Keegan.
Our client, a Sunni doctor from Baghdad, was targeted by the Mahdi Army, the militia controlled by the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, on the basis of his religion and social standing as a well-respected Sunni physician working in Sadr City - a predominantly Shia area of Baghdad. The Mahdi Army hounded him from his job at the hospital and threatened his life on a number of occasions. After fleeing Iraq in September 2005, he went to Jordan, where he stayed briefly with his in-laws, before fleeing to the United States to join his wife, who was already here studying at an American university.
Our client's wife recently gave birth to a baby girl, who is an American citizen.