People were beaten. Some hunted and abducted. Others arrested and detained. Citizens were killed. Children taken and detained. Deliberate internet shutdown covered up a massive operation of repression.
These are the events which unfolded in Zimbabwe from 14th January 2019 running to several days as people in various parts of the world simply watched whilst others steadfastly turned a blind eye to the atrocities.
Zimbabwe’s authorities, via the police, army and other ZANU(PF) agents, treating its own citizens as enemies of the state, launched a brutal crackdown on those involved or perceived to have organised or taken part in the recent fuel protests. Killing and other forms of ill-treatment were the authorities response to a long suffering nation that dared to express its discontentment with those supposed to lead and serve them.
It is most strange that it should staunchly be maintained before the Court of Appeal that Home Office Presenting Officers are aware of country guidance caselaw, yet a supposedly sufficiently experienced Home office Presenting Officer voluntarily made a concession that was inconsistent with relevant country guidance caselaw with the result that, also placing reliance upon that concession, an Upper Tribunal Judge allowed an appellant’s appeal.
Even stranger still is that it subsequently emerged that neither the Presenting Officer nor those that represented the Appellant had referred to nor relied upon applicable country guidance ceselaw in the Upper Tribunal.
MM (Malawi) & Anor v the Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2482 (09 November 2018) as recently decided in the Court of Appeal, is largely a follow up and conclusion of that Court’s considerations following remittal of MM’s case to the Upper Tribunal as per MM (Malawi) & Anor, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1365 (12 June 2018).
An updated Country Information Note on Iraq has now been published: Country policy and information note: security and humanitarian situation, Iraq, November 2018, Version 5.0, 19 November 2018. This is to be considered in conjunction with the Note published last month: Country policy and information note: internal relocation, civil documentation and returns, Iraq, October 2018.
Relevant County Guidance caselaw and other pertinent cases remain the following:
BA (Returns to Baghdad Iraq CG)  UKUT 18 (IAC) (23 January 2017)
Relevant previous blog posts:
Would the Tribunal have found themselves in the straight jacket that the Court of Appeal has clothed it with had the Upper Tribunal not “exceeded it’s jurisdiction” or “ overreached itself” as concluded by the Court in The Secretary of State for the Home Department v MS (Pakistan)  EWCA Civ 594?
The appeal in MS in the Court of Appeal raised an issue of principle as to the jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal on a statutory appeal under section 84 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Act to undertake an indirect judicial review of a negative trafficking decision made by the Secretary of State in that individual’s case. In that context, the appeal was noted to concern the scope and effect of the previous decision of the Court of Appeal in AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1469.