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Refugee Assistance Project

Cases & Credits

A woman whose family was threatened for being pro-Tibetan

Law Firm
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Myriam Jaidi

Justice Center Project Management
Jennifer Kim
Martin York

In 1991, Ms. C.'s husband was arrested and imprisoned for three years for taking part in a pro-Tibetan political demonstration in Lhasa. As a consequence, Mrs. C.'s children were not allowed to attend school in Tibet because the Chinese had blacklisted her family.

In June 2000, a pro-Tibetan organization agreed to help Mrs. C. and her husband transport their four children to India so that they could attend school. For the next four years, Mrs. C. lived alone and continued to wait for her husband's return. During this time, Mrs. C. was helping the pro-Tibetan organization distribute photos of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama to her neighbors and acquaintances. In December 2004, Chinese police officers arrested Mrs. C. for distributing the photos and for not telling them the whereabouts of her husband. Mrs. C. was detained, interrogated and brutally beaten for the next three months in an attempt to get her to reveal the name of the pro-Tibetan organization and the whereabouts of her husband. In February 2005, the Chinese released Mrs. C. and told her that she had to bring her husband and children to them within one month or she would be sentenced to a longer prison term.

Mrs. C. immediately fled to Nepal, and then eventually to the United States. Initially, Mrs. C. found it difficult to speak about the torture she endured in prison and the persecution she and her family had suffered at the hands of the Chinese. Myriam Jaidi, an attorney at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP and former Fragomen Fellow at the City Bar Justice Center, gradually gained Mrs C.'s trust and convinced her to submit to a medical exam, which showed that Mrs. C. had been sterilized following the birth of her fourth child. Such intelligent and insightful advocacy from Myriam Jaidi was instrumental in winning asylum for Mrs. C. and giving her a chance to piece her life back together after so many years of pain and suffering.