Hayk and Nadezhda Khudaverdyan applied for asylum from Armenia. The Armenian military police detained, beat, and threatened Hayk after he was seen talking to a reporter following a personal confrontation with the city’s military police chief. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) held that, because Hayk failed to prove that he intended to expose corruption when he talked to the reporter, he did not demonstrate that he was persecuted because of his actual political opinion. The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that the BIA failed to address evidence in the record that Hayk was persecuted on account of an imputed political opinion, that is, because military police officials thought that he was talking to the reporter in an attempt to expose government corruption
The Ninth Circuit noted that Hayk testified credibly that the chief of the investigative department accused him of trying to “dishonor the military police” and accused him of espionage after he was seen talking to a reporter for a political opposition newspaper.
The full text of Khudaverdyan v. Holder can be found here: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/02/27/10-73346.pdf