May-June 2013

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Page 16 of 49

ILLUSTRATION BY BRADLEY AMBURN "The attorney should gather information while keeping three of the five grounds of eligibility for asylum in mind: religion, political opinion, and membership in a particular social group." After gathering information about the client's personal circumstances, the first source that a practitioner should turn to when determining whether to represent a bright is the annual Department of State's (DOS) International Religious Freedom Report. This country condition report tracks how governments treat persons based on their beliefs. For example, last year in West Sumatra, a man was arrested for creating a Facebook page titled "Minang Atheist." See D. Behreandt, "Man Sentenced to Prison for Atheism," American Daily Herald, June 15, 2012; Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, "'Minang atheist' sentenced to 2.5 years in prison," The Jakarta Post, June 14, 2012. Second, review the country's legal system. Many laws are blatantly religious. Sharia, or Islamic law, is the primary source of legislation in Egypt, for example. In such countries, the government forbids Muslims from converting to another religion. M AY/ J UNE 2013 17

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