Main | Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gay Saudi Diplomat Seeks U.S. Asylum

Saying that his life is in danger and that if he goes back to Saudi Arabia "they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” a gay Saudi diplomat has requested asylum in the United States.
The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman. In a recent letter that he posted on a Saudi website, Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocatively of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S.
The United States granted it first asylum request based on sexual orientation in 1994, after a 73 year-old ban on homosexual immigrants was finally overturned in 1990.

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