Prokofi Nozadze v. Jefferson Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION File Name: 18a0327n.06 No. 17-3587 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED PROKOFI NOZADZE, Jul 02, 2018 DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk Petitioner, v. ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, APPEALS Attorney General, Respondent. BEFORE: MOORE, CLAY, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges. CLAY, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Prokofi Nozadze seeks review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denying his application for asylum pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1158 and 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(1)(iii); withholding of removal, pursuant to § 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; and withholding of removal under Article III of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, G.A. Res. 39/46 (“CAT”). For the following reasons, we DENY the petition for review. No. 17-3587, Nozadze v. Sessions BACKGROUND These proceedings have been underway for nearly fifteen years. The factual background was set forth succinctly in the administrative proceedings below, as follows: [Petitioner] was a minibus driver in Georgia. While driving his routes, he began to notice what he believed to be corrupt activities between Georgian soldiers and Chechen “bandits.” He voiced his concerns to other members of his political party, the Citizens’ Union of Georgia (“CUG”). When his concerns were ignored, [Petitioner] wrote a letter detailing what he had seen to the government’s “Regional Security Chief.” [Petitioner] was summoned to the security office on September 3, 2001. Upon arrival, he was told to “be quiet” about what he had witnessed during his bus routes, and that it was none of his business. [Petitioner], however, continued to insist that the government should prevent the acts of corruption between rebels and the military. [Petitioner] was subsequently taken to a cell and beaten. He testified that he was not fed and that he was so badly injured that he could not get off the floor of his cell. [Petitioner] was released three days later. . . . Next, in February 2002, [Petitioner]’s life was threatened. He testified that one day, two Chechens and one Georgian soldier boarded his minibus after storing a small mysterious package in the vehicle’s luggage compartment. A “monitoring group” consisting of five individuals stopped the bus soon thereafter. Before [Petitioner] had a chance to speak with the monitors, the Georgian soldier told [Petitioner] not to reveal that he and the Chechens were responsible for placing the small package in the luggage compartment. [Petitioner] felt that he “could not lie” to the monitors, and when asked, identified the soldier and his Chechen associates as the owners of the package. The five patrollers then arrested the two Chechens, and “ordered the Georgian military person to go with them.” Before leaving, the Georgian soldier turned to [Petitioner] and threated to kill him. Two months later, in April 2002, [Petitioner] was driving his minibus route when three soldiers and one officer in a Georgian military jeep stopped him. [Petitioner] was instructed to get off the bus. ...

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