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The High Court in Admiralty

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the petition of a former foreign domestic worker who wanted to remain here because her husband in the Philippines allegedly threatened to kill her after discovering she had lovers while working here in Hong Kong.

In a decision on Oct. 21, the appellate court  turned down the appeal of 34-year-old Gennelyn D. D., who wanted to the tribunal to review the decision in March of a judge denying her asylum bid.

Gennelyn claimed that the judge made an “error of law” in failing to take into account the psychological strain she had suffered from repeated threats from her husband, Warren. The Court of Appeal disagreed.

“In the present case, the applicant complained that the judge failed to take into account her psychological strain.  This complaint has no merit as the Judge clearly did take the matter into account,” the appellate court said in its decision.

“We agree with the judge’s observations that the applicant’s case is not reasonably arguable, there is no realistic prospect of success and leave to apply for judicial review should not be granted.  We cannot discern any mistake in the decision made by the judge,” it added.

Gennelyn had married her husband, Warren, in 2007 and they had two children. The Filipina claimed Warren was an alcoholic and had “nearly killed her.” In June 2014, the applicant left Warren for good.

She came to Hong Kong to work as domestic helper. She did not contact Warren but the latter sent messages to her Facebook account from time to time.

The applicant started a relationship with an Indian man soon after she arrived here. When her contract was terminated on Dec. 5, 2014, she returned to the Philippines.  Gennelyn said she did not go home but Warren found her.

One day, Warren found out from the applicant’s mobile phone that she had an affair with the Indian man. Warren threatened to kill Gennelyn if she would go to Hong Kong again. But she came back to HK in February 2015 to work again as a domestic helper.

The woman claimed she stopped seeing the Indian man but Warren continued to send threatening messages to her due to her adultery.

The applicant then started another relationship with a Pakistani man in Hong Kong. Warren found it out too. He kept on threatening the applicant.

Gennelyn’s contract was terminated on June 30, 2015 but she overstayed in Hong Kong for nine days before surrendering to the Immigration Department and filing an asylum bid.

But Immigration denied in her asylum bid in August 2017 because it said there was no credible risk of torture, persecution, cruel or inhuman punishment, or threat to life against Gennelyn.

She appealed to the Torture Claims Appeals Board but the adjudicator in April 2018 ruled that Gennelyn’s case was “a case of domestic violence” and that Warren’s threats were only verbal.

In March, Deputy High Court Judge Josiah Lam affirmed the decisions of the board and Immigration but Gennelyn decided to appeal. The Court of Appeal denied her petition.