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Halim v. Holder

December 30, 2009


On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Agency No. A075-745-174.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Callahan, Consuelo


Argued and Submitted October 14, 2009 -- Seattle, Washington.

Before: Richard D. Cudahy,*fn1 Senior Circuit Judge, Johnnie B. Rawlinson and Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Callahan; Concurrence by Judge Cudahy


Maikal Ali Iskandar Halim ("Halim") seeks review of the denial of his claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT") based on his fear of being persecuted due to his Chinese ethnicity should he return to Indonesia. We affirm the denial of relief because we conclude that Halim has not made a compelling showing that (1) the reported incidents of discrimination amount to persecution, (2) the incidents provide an objective basis for a well-founded fear of future persecution, or (3) he is a member of a disfavored group who has been individually targeted.


Halim alleges that he was born in 1975 in Indonesia. He is ethnically Chinese and was baptized in the Catholic Church. In support of his assertion that he has experienced harassment throughout his life in Indonesia because he is ethnically Chinese, he related the following incidents.

In 1988, his father enrolled him in a junior high in which he was one of only two non-Muslims. One day when it was raining heavily, some of the students stripped him naked and ordered him to run around the volleyball court. Although he begged for help, the students laughed at him and mocked him because of his race. After about five or ten minutes his clothing was returned to him. Halim claims that this incident was so humiliating that he never told anyone about it, not even his parents.

In 1991, he was enrolled in a Catholic high school which required that its students wear a distinctive uniform. Halim alleges that when he used public transportation wearing his school uniform, he was mistreated by students because of his religion and his race. One afternoon in 1992, when Halim and a friend were waiting for public transportation, a bus crowded with students passed by and one of the students spat in his face. A number of students then got off the bus and came toward Halim and his friend with the intent of beating them up. Halim and his friend ran back to the school where the principal tried to calm the pursuing students. Halim claims that there was a policeman standing not very far away who saw what happened but did not try to stop the students from attempting to beat up Halim.

Halim's mother claims that when Halim was 20 years old he had bad diarrhea and she took him to a government-owned clinic. She alleged that the clinic refused to treat him because he was Chinese and told her "you are Chinese and should have lots of money. Why don't you take your son to a private clinic or hospital?"

Halim represents that sometime in 1995 or 1996, when he was riding in a car in a park around midnight with a friend who is also ethnic Chinese, he was stopped by a team of police checking for drugs. They were forced to get out, were arrested, and placed in a police truck, which Halim claims contained other ethnic Chinese who had been arrested, but no Muslim Indonesians. At the police station, Halim was told that they had found drugs in the car, but no charges were ever filed. Halim was released after three days when his father came to the station and paid a bribe.

In 1998, riots broke out in Indonesia. Halim described what happened to him as follows:

I was attending university, on May 12, 1998, the university decided to stop all the activities on campus and let everyone went [sic] home. But, the natives started blocking the streets. I was on my motorcycle when the native mobs forced me to take off my helmet. As soon as they saw my face and knew that I was Chinese, they started beating me up. I was rescued when the army came to disperse the mobs. I was able to just make it home even with my horrible physical condition and damaged motorcycle. Because it was so dangerous for Chinese to be seen on the street, I did not see a doctor.

Halim's father died in September 1998 of a heart attack and in 1999 his mother and brother came to the United States. Halim continued to work and attend university. In May 2000, another riot broke out in Indonesia against the Chinese. Although he was not personally attacked, the riot convinced Halim that ...

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