(Court of Appeal; Sedley, Rix and Arden LJJ; 26 February 2008)
The Kenyan grandmother had claimed asylum on behalf of herself, her daughter and her grandson. The grandmother was of Kikuyu ethnicity. Her father-in-law had been recruited by a violent militant traditionalist sect; the sect promoted the practice of female genital mutilation. It was accepted that the grandmother and daughter had fled their home in Kenya to escape such mutilation and the forced marriage of the daughter to an elder of the sect, following payment of a dowry to the father-in-law. The tribunal dismissed the asylum appeal on the basis that there were other parts of Kenya in which the women would be safe.
The specificity of the grandmother's case, relating not to the existence of a well-founded fear in her home village, but to the reasonableness and safety of moving elsewhere in Kenya, had not been adequately addressed. There was every reason to suppose, given the evidence, that the grandmother both had been and would remain of particular interest to the sect; there was a strong likelihood that both the insult to the father-in-law and the elder's lost dowry would be very well remembered.