Episcopalian Bishop from Sudan Receives U.S. Asylum

by Jason Dzubow on February 1, 2012

A Sudanese Bishop who spoke out against atrocities committed by the government of Sudan has received asylum in the United States.  The Legal Times reports that Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail of South Kordofan, a province of Sudan that borders the new country of South Sudan came to the United States for medical treatment in May 2011.  Conflict broke out in his home region shortly thereafter, and he filed for political asylum.

Martyrs of Sudan by Awer Bul, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Bishop Elnail stated, “friends, brothers and sisters, children, my flock, have been killed mercilessly [by the government of Sudan] and are lying now in mass graves in Kadugli.”  According to one of his lawyers, the Bishop’s home was destroyed and looted, his office was destroyed and looted, and his church was destroyed and looted.  Based on his (very) well-founded fear of persecution in Sudan, the Bishop received asylum in the United States.

Now that he is safely in the U.S., Bishop Elnail plans to continue his advocacy for the people of Sudan.  In a written statement, he says, “Asylum is the way for me to advocate for the people of South Kordofan.”  “I can do more for my people here than if I was in Sudan.”  It’s hard to argue with this sentiment, since it seems pretty clear that if he returned to Sudan, the government–which has repeatedly demonstrated its utter disregard for human life–would make sure that he kept quiet.  Permanently.

The case was litigated by Covington & Burling attorneys Arjun Singh Sethi and Gerald Masoudi.  Mazel tov to them for their success in this important case.

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