Hello everyone, I have updated some information regarding Michelle Quezada, who is the beneficiary of this GoFundMe. Now her information can be seen publicly.
As well, I attached some news media links, where the story can be found and her profile on Facebook, if you want to contact her directly.
Her situation has not changed a lot, but hopefully she is going to the court soon. The GoFundMe old description is still below, so people can follow the thread of the story.
Please read her story:
My name is ¨María¨, and I am a 20-year-old Nicaraguan refugee girl applying for protection in Norway. I have been in Norway for a little over 8 months, and I can say that I have never felt more secure.
I am afraid to share my real name publicly online, because my stay in Norway depends on what happens in the next few days. If I write my real name, it will alert the Nicaraguan dictatorship of a possible return.
I fled from political persecution and the repressive system in Nicaragua in November 2019. For over a year I was harassed and threatened, and when Nicaraguan paramilitary attempted to kidnap me, I knew I had to leave my country for political asylum in another.
In 2018, as a student, I participated in the protests against the Sandinista dictatorship where paramilitaries and police killed over 400 unarmed protesters and family members. During those days, I helped with the distribution of medicine and aid. This made me a political target by those Nicaraguan leaders and their followers. My family is also recognized as an opponent.
I come from a town south of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, where life is not valued or respected. There, only those who have weapons, and are on the government's side, have rights.
I fled to Norway requesting protection because my uncle, also a young opposition student and activist, was in the same process there. I thought we could go through this tough stage together with his guidance.
My process moved quite fast, and within a month, I was having my interview with UDI. A little more than 3 weeks passed, then I received a response to my request. They indicated that I was not a " high profile person", among other things, and they denied me my protection. I appealed by responding to each reason they gave, and a month later they sent another response to my application. Once again, they denied me protection. UDI sent my case to UNE to assess the case and make a decision.
Just 2 days ago, Aug. 10, 2020, I received their decision; I was denied protection. This was a last resort; I can no longer appeal.
But why? I wonder, if I have the evidence, why don't they investigate my case? Only a few weeks ago, I included more evidence where my family is being harassed by paramilitaries, the same people who tried to kidnap me, the same ones that threatened to kill me. I have videos and photos to prove it. My life is at serious risk in Nicaragua.
My lawyer tells me that I can go to court and defend my case, rather, my life, and present the evidence and witnesses, but this is very expensive in Norway. He tells me that going to court is at least 300,000 NOK. He also believes me as a Norwegian lawyer, and thinks the case should be granted protection. He knows my situation at the moment, and for that reason he told me that he will only charge me 50,000 NOK instead.
I am not working, UDI and UNE did not grant me a work permit, and I barely receive about 1000 Norwegian crowns every two weeks for my food.
Raising 50,000 NOK is something impossible for me right now without your help.
I am just a girl who wants to live. The same girl who does not want to be afraid of going down the street, thinking that she will be killed or kidnapped at any moment. I feel this is unjust because my life is at risk if I return, and even now my mother is trying to flee Nicaragua.
I know that justice exists in Norway, and that is why I want to appear in court, but I cannot without your help.
UNE gives 3 weeks to leave the country after its decision, if not before the procedure is done with the lawyer going to court. Next Monday begins the second week. I am in a race against time.
Please help me! I'm just a girl, a girl who wants to live!
Once I am granted protection in Norway, I will present my name, because only then I will no longer be in danger of being sent back to Nicaragua.
- Alex Arana
- Ayturk Duzen
- Aracelli Artola Ibarra
Fundraising team: Michelle (2)
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