“I feel vindicated.” That was the reaction of Dillian Johnson in an emailed response moments after he was told that he had been granted humanitarian protection by the United Kingdom Home Office for the next five years.
Johnson, fled the country in December 2017 after he was shot at his Gasparillo home. He claimed then that he was a victim of a targeted hit.
In a detailed UK Home Office letter sent yesterday to Johnson’s UK-based lawyers, Sarah Lattimer and Michael Mc Garvey, the UK Home Office of Visas and Immigration said: “Dear Mr Johnson, Your claim for asylum made on December 30, 2017, is refused. However, I have decided that you should be granted humanitarian protection.”
The letter was signed by Richard Issacs on behalf of the Secretary of State.
According to UK Home Office, Johnson had applied for refugee status on a “well-founded fear of persecution in Trinidad and Tobago on the basis of your membership of a particular social group (a gay man).”
According to the document, Johnson’s fears of persecution were merely subjective and did not qualify under the Geneva Convention for asylum seekers.
The Home Office made this point clear in point 51 under the section Assessment of future fear (sufficiency of protection) as they stated: “In addition, it also demonstrates a willingness and ability of the police to assist those who have faced issues relating to their sexuality, this coupled with the decriminalisation of consensual LGBT activity clearly indicates that even if it were accepted that an individual was at risk of persecution by non-state or rogue state actors on account of their sexuality, such persecutions is neither state-sponsored nor state condoned.”
The section further stated: “In light of the above conclusions, it is accepted that you have demonstrated having a genuine subjective fear on return to Trinidad and Tobago on account of your sexuality at the time of your application for asylum. However, for the reasons given below it is considered this genuine subjective fear is not objectively well founded as sufficient protection is available.”
The Home Office also sought to direct Johnson and his lawyers as to why he was granted specifically humanitarian protection under the UK laws.
“Humanitarian Protection must be granted where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk of serious harm. In considering whether there are such grounds the standard of proof to be applied is the same as applies in asylum, that is ‘a reasonable degree of likelihood’ that the person would face a ‘real risk’ of serious harm on return to their country of origin.”
Those not eligible for refugee status can obtain humanitarian protection. In this case, they cannot be removed from national territory because of objective and serious personal situations.
Allegations surfaced in 2017 that Chief Justice Ivor Archie tried to influence Supreme Court justices to change their personal state-provided security in favour of a private security company that employs his “close friend” Dillian Johnson, a convicted felon, as a consultant.