Hogan Lovells wins asylum for Macedonian lesbian afraid of persecution

Hogan Lovells has announced 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, some threatened to kill her. Upon receiving death threats, the woman fled to the US and petitioned for asylum with the assistance of the Hogan Lovells team.

Chava Brandriss, an associate in Hogan Lovells’ Washington DC office, and Immigration Equality, a national organisation that advances the immigration rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, referred the woman to Hogan Lovells. 

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 LGBT community in Macedonia, where anti-LGBT mobs attack publicly ‘out’ individuals and the government fails to prosecute the perpetrators.

The Hogan Lovells team included New York partner Scott Friedman, Washington DC associates Robert Baldwin and Katelyn Ruiz and New York associates Erin Meyer and Samuel Zimmerman.