Hogan Lovells Pro Bono Team Wins Asylum for Client
26 February 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. 26 February 2014 – Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce that a team of pro bono lawyers recently won asylum for a lesbian woman who feared sexual orientation-based persecution if she was required to return to her native Macedonia. While in Macedonia, the woman kept her sexual orientation a secret for fear of attacks on her life. When others discovered that the woman was a lesbian, the individuals threatened to kill her. Upon receiving these death threats, the woman fled to the United States and petitioned for asylum with the assistance of the Hogan Lovells team.
Chava Brandriss, an associate in Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C. office, and Immigration Equality, a national organization that advances the immigration rights of LGBT individuals, referred the woman to Hogan Lovells. Both Brandriss and Immigration Equality provided indispensable assistance in the case.
The Arlington Asylum Office granted the Hogan Lovells client asylum on 18 February 2014. This pro bono victory comes at a time of heightened violence toward the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Macedonia, where anti-LGBT mobs attack publicly “out” individuals and the government fails to prosecute the perpetrators.
“Macedonia is not a safe place for LGBT people and the government of Macedonia is not doing anything to protect us from discrimination and violence,” said the woman.
The Hogan Lovells team included New York partner Scott Friedman, Washington, D.C. associates Robert Baldwin and Katelyn Ruiz, and New York associates Erin Meyer and Samuel Zimmerman.