Last week, the U.S. government rejected a bid for political asylum by Ali Ahmad Asseri, former first secretary of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Los Angeles, who claims public knowledge of his homosexuality means he could face prosecution and even execution in his homeland.
Saudi-American blogger Rasheed Abou-Alsamh reports that, “this was a political decision by the Obama administration, who are afraid of upsetting the Saudis,” according to Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed.
“[Asseri's] 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,” said Ahmed. “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.”
Ahmed says Asseri is planning to appeal the decision, though the process could take years.
FrontPage columnist Bruce Bawer lays the blame at President Obama:
Diplomatic niceties, the military’s strategic considerations, and the hard facts of petropolitics are one thing. But for the United States of America —the nation whose Founders changed the face of the world by eloquently explaining to their fellowman that they had a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”—for the U.S. to send Ali Ahmad Asseri back to be executed by a regime that practices seventh-century desert justice is to trample on the Declaration of Independence? and Constitution.
…It is an especially cynical act on the part of President Obama, who in his first presidential campaign went out of his way to convince gay voters that he was their Great Stone Face, the champion for whom they had been waiting all their lives, the Moses who would deliver them to the Promised Land of full equality and human dignity. Obama has already, of course, betrayed that promise over and over again, but to ship Asseri back to a certain execution for being gay would, for Obama, be the ultimate unforgivable act–an out-and-out “f— you” to every gay American.
Previously, Asseri told NBC News, “My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight.”