Asylum: Congolese Woman Raped and Beaten, Targeted for Death

Elizabeth* is a 44-year-old woman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who is detained in the Caroline County Detention Facility in Virginia. She came to the United States after being brutally beaten and raped by the military. Elizabeth was targeted because the daughter of a General died after taking medicine from Elizabeth’s husband’s pharmacy. She needs help seeking asylum in front of an immigration judge.


CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney. Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings. 




Elizabeth’s husband worked as a pharmacist in the DRC. In 2018, a young woman seeking an abortion bought medication from the pharmacy, but died after taking the medication. This young woman was the daughter of a military General, who then sought revenge on Elizabeth’s family.


In July of last year, the General sent a large group of military men to Elizabeth’s home. Her husband was not home at the time, but Elizabeth was, and the men told her that they had orders from the General to kill her and her children. They then proceeded to brutally attack Elizabeth. They beat her, kicked her, and raped her before finally, she passed out and they left her for dead. 

Before leaving, the men took a picture of Elizabeth and her family from their living room wall, which she believes they are using in their continued attempt to track down the family.

Soon after, Elizabeth escaped from DRC on a plane, with the assistance of her uncle’s friend who works at the airport.

Elizabeth is eligible for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture.  All three of these defenses to deportation will be adjudicated in front of an immigration judge during a short trial. Elizabeth speaks Lingala and some French.


Please contact Michael Lukens at (202) 870-5962, or, if you are interested in taking this case. 


*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy. 


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