Locke Lord’s Nick O’Conner (Chicago) served as pro bono legal counsel to a National Immigrant Justice Center client from Eritrea, a relatively new country formed from Ethiopia. O’Conner argued that the client suffered past persecution at the hands of the Eritrean government because government officials falsely accused him of having a political opinion critical of the current regime. He was imprisoned by Eritrean military forces on three separate occasions, during which time he was beaten, starved and tortured. He was living in hiding until his family could pay to have him smuggled out of the country into Sudan and eventually to the United States via South and Central America. The client, who speaks Tigrinya, has been in detention in Kenosha, Wis. since he arrived in the United States in January. Due to O’Conner’s efforts, the client was granted asylum by the immigration court and immediately released from custody.
Posted June 28, 2017