Hughes Hubbard & Reed helped win asylum status for a Ukrainian citizen persecuted for his homosexuality. Working with Immigration Equality, Hughes Hubbard took on the case of the client, who escaped to the United States in 2012 and now lives in Brooklyn.

The client, 21, grew up in Ukraine, a country under recent international scrutiny for banning gay pride parades and legislating against “homosexual propaganda.” In Ukraine, the client suffered multiple physical assaults because of his sexual orientation, including an attack in February 2012 that left him hospitalized for a week. His university professors were openly hostile to him and manufactured reasons for his expulsion. In March 2011, someone claiming to work for the university called the client’s father and revealed his sexuality. His father then attacked him with a kitchen cleaver in an incident that Kyiv police dismissed as a “domestic affair.” 

“[In Ukraine] you are always afraid you’ll go to university and they will beat you up, you’ll leave your house and you’ll be beaten up,” the client told Russia! magazine in a May 31 article. “For me that was normal, and only when I was in America I realized that it wasn’t, and you can walk down the street holding a guy’s hand and no one will beat you up for that.” 

Hughes Hubbard interviewed the client several times to draft his official declaration to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), requested all relevant documents and prepared and filed the client’s application for asylum and withholding of removal. Hughes Hubbard also interviewed witnesses and drafted affidavits and supported the client during his asylum interview on July 16, 2013.  

USCIS granted asylum to the client on July 30, 2013. Upon hearing the news, the client said that he was ecstatic and that he looked forward to returning to school for electrical engineering. 

The client was represented by Konstantine Paschalidis, Quan Trinh and Sarah Wertheimer with supervision by Sarah Cave. Paralegals Maggie Klimentova and Dan Wiener assisted with extensive translation and fact-gathering work.