Helene* came to the UK in 2013 from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She had been a political activist but fled her home country having been tortured and gang raped. She was also suffering from mental health difficulties as a result of her experiences and she’s been receiving more than five years of therapy and counselling in the UK from Freedom from Torture.
Helene made an initial asylum claim in the UK, which failed. Having exhausted her appeal process, she came to the Law Centre in 2017 at which point our solicitor Rajitha took on her case to make further submissions.
Following a refusal to treat Helene’s further submissions as a fresh claim, Rajitha lodged a judicial review. The Home Office agreed to reconsider the further submissions but still refused the fresh claim, although this time with a right of appeal. The Law Centre appealed against the refusal in March 2020 and the hearing was adjourned a few times throughout the pandemic before finally being heard in May 2021.
Helene won her fresh asylum claim appeal.
On hearing the news, Helene said:
“I would just like to express my sincere thanks to you for all the help you have provided me throughout what has been quite a stressful period in my life.
That period goes from the day I came to the UK (19 September 2013) to the day I received your call (29 June 2021) informing me that my asylum case was sorted out.”
*not her real name