Uulu v. Garland, No. 22-1973 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Uulu lived with his wife and children in Kyrgyzstan. He joined an opposition party. In 2013, Uulu attended a peaceful protest, during which police fired tear gas at the crowd and attacked protesters. They took Uulu to a police station where they hit him with a filled bottle and placed cellophane over his head, causing him to lose consciousness. Uulu testified that he was detained for several hours with a chemical in the room, making him dizzy. The next morning he was returned to the station. When he returned home, unknown men beat him until he was unconscious. He woke up in the hospital.
Two months later, he entered the United States on a tourist visa. Uulu says that the Kyrgyz government subsequently convicted him of “organizing mass riots” and sentenced him in absentia. An asylum officer classified him as removable (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B)). In 2018, an immigration court held a hearing at which Uulu testified and presented corroborating documents. The judge ordered Uulu’s voluntary removal, finding that Uulu made shifting statements about key events in his asylum application, interview, and hearing testimony, including about whether police harmed him, how long he was detained, and the attack. Uulu’s corroborating statements were from interested parties who were not available for cross-examination. The BIA affirmed. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review. Acknowledging concerns about the review of his corroborating evidence, the court found Uulu’s account included too many inconsistencies to upset the conclusion that he was not credible.