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The Nagoya High Court on Friday recognized a 32-year-old Kurdish man with Turkish citizenship as a refugee, upholding a lower court ruling that overturned the state’s decision to reject his application for such status.

Presiding Judge Akihiko Mitsuda said, “It is likely that Kurds, who maintain their ethnic identity, may face human rights violations” in Turkey.

The Nagoya District Court granted refugee status to the man in 2004, after his application for it was twice turned down, ruling that he faced possible torture in Turkey due to his ethnicity and political views, because he had supported an antigovernment group there.

The state appealed the district court ruling, claiming the man’s relatives in Turkey are leading normal lives and are not subject to human rights abuses.

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