Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Attorneys at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP win asylum for an Afghan doctor who fled torture at the hand of the Taliban after helping a woman deliver her baby.
Pro bono coordinator and lawyer Steven J. Kolleeny of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, working with associates Shoshanah V. Asnis and William J. Hine, won asylum for a doctor from Afghanistan. At the age of 25, Dr. Z* operated a medical clinic and helped a pregnant woman and her child though a life-threatening labor. He was tortured and thrown into solitary confinement for defying Taliban edits that prohibit male doctors from touching women. Later, while in prison, he refused Taliban orders to amputate a thief’s hand. He was told he would be executed for twice disobeying the Taliban. Luckily, Dr. Z escaped prison and fled Afghanistan for the United States. When he arrived in the United States, he was taken in handcuffs to a detention center, as are all refugees who flee to the United States without valid travel documents. His family contacted Human Rights First, and after interviewing Dr. Z, Human Rights First recruited Steve Kolleeny and his team of attorneys at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to take on Dr. Z’s case. The Skadden attorneys quickly gathered substantial evidence to document Dr. Z’s eligibility for asylum. They represented
Dr. Z in a hearing before an immigration judge, and convinced the judge to grant asylum. They also won Dr. Z’s release from detention.
*for confidentially reasons his real name is not being used.