Gay Former Saudi Diplomat Who Fears for His Life Denied Asylum

Ali Ahmed Asseri, a gay former Saudi diplomat living in Los Angeles, who told NBC in September that "if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight," has been denied asylum by the U.S..

SaudiAli al-Ahmed, a Saudi dissident in Washington, D.C., told Arab news site Rasheed's World that the Obama administration denied the asylum request because "giving refuge to him might upset relations with the kingdom."

“This was a political decision by the Obama administration, who are afraid of upsetting the Saudis,” said Ahmed in a phone interview. “His initial interview with Homeland Security was very positive, but then they came back and grilled him for two days after they found out that he had worked in the public prosecutor’s office in Saudi Arabia. He had been an inspector to make sure that judicial punishments, such as lashings, were carried out within the law—not more, not less. They then accused him of participating in a form of torture,” explained Ahmed.

Asseri is reportedly planning to appeal the decision.


  1. Joel V says

    “..might uset relations with the kingdom.” Anything to keep cheap oil I suppose. Truly disgusting.

  2. Brains says

    His rejection for asylum was based on the fact that he had participated in the torture and execution of individuals such as himself, gay and lesbians!

    Just like the now “out” Republicans; maybe this would be a lesson to others in the future..!

    Participating in torture and infringing on the liberties of others like you, has consequences!

    What goes around, tends to come around!

  3. fedorajoe says

    Brains: Even if what you say is true, we should never support the killing of anyone on the grounds of sexual orientation. Isn’t that the whole point?

  4. Albert says

    In the asylum process, most applications are rejected at the first level by an asylum officer. He will have the opportunity to appeal next to an immigration judge. There will normally be further appeal opportunities thereafter, so he is not being sent immediately to Saudi. His reference to this being a decision by the Obama Administration is a little hyperbole, since an asylum officer is a career individual who works irrespective of which administration is in office.

  5. anon says

    Diplomats normally receive preferential treatment in asylum cases, but it can get tied up in international relations issues. He’d probably do better in Canada or France. Technically, sexual orientation is not normally grounds for asylum by itself, there must be clear and convincing legal peril as well.

  6. NorthoftheBorder says

    I’m sure Canada wont have any problem upsetting the “Kingdom”… given I think we’ve already done so with their airline…. send him up here.

  7. Mohammed alsaiari says

    Yes , if he came to Saudi Arabia he would be smashed not only by the government but by his family and klan ! These kind of people has no place in our country

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    “These kind of people has no place in our country”

    “….unless they live in secret,” you didn’t finish your statement Mr Alsairari. And why are you grinning?

  9. Mohammed alsaiari says

    Yes , Derrick
    But this guy has no future at all b/c he has been known as a homosexual which the people over there are strongly rejecting this dirty conduct . If he didn’t tell about it he wouldnt faced any problem !