The Eighth Circuit rejected the asylum claim of a Kenyan who is a member of the Kikuyu ethnic group.  The applicant was persecuted by members of the Mungiki criminal group.  The court found that the applicant's refusal to join the Mungiki did not qualify as a political opinion.  The court also rejected his proposed social group comprised of "witnesses to criminal activity," finding that this group was not socially distinct or particularized.  The court determined that there was no evidence that Kikyuys who resist recruitment by the Mungiki are socially distinct within Kenyan society.  Finally, the court declined to find that those who resist recruitment by the Mungiki are analogous to defectors from the Mungiki (a group the court had previously recognized for asylum purposes).

The full text of Ngugi v. Lynch can be found here: