Switzerland Is Sending A Gay Drug Trafficker Back To Iran. To Die?

A 35-year-old Iranian man living convicted of heroin trafficking in Switzerland is being sent back home — despite his pleas that he’ll be persecuted in Iran because of his sexuality. The man, who arrived in Switzerland and was repeatedly denied asylum, secured temporary residence in 2004 after a civil union with a Swiss man; his 2007 conviction of moving 70 grams of heroin, however, killed his attempts to renew his papers. And thanks to last year’s passage of a new law that automatically deports any foreigner convicted of crimes including rape and drugs, the man has little recourse. Which isn’t to say he didn’t try: He appealed to the Federal Administrative Tribunal, which just denied his asylum claim, insisting “homosexuality is not uncommon in the Iranian society and systematic discrimination is not detectable” and that “in practice, homosexuality is tolerated by the authorities when it is not done openly in view in an offensive manner.” That’s complete bullshit, as we’ve seen, but it’s hard to generate much sympathy for a man moving drugs around. That said, the deportation might be the harshest punishment the Swiss can hand down: a possible death sentence.

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  • the crustybastard

    Switzerland refused to extradite a former Rwandan government official accused of war crimes and implicated in the Tutsi genocide. “An extradition to Rwanda is impossible because of the situation in the state regarding human rights…”

    Also, the Swiss won’t extradite foreign-national embezzlers, tax cheats, or individuals accused of violating Iraq sanctions laws, provided those folks maintain fat accounts in Swiss banks. And of course, Switzerland famously collaborated with the Nazis, and fought the repatriation of traceable stolen Jewish assets.

    Last year Switzerland refused to extradite confessed child-rapist Roman Polanski to the US because they though Polanski would be likely to be arrested. Well, yeah — because Polanski pled guilty to drugging and raping a little girl, then became a fugitive to avoid serving his sentence. Civilized nations frown on that.

    You stay classy, Switzerland.

  • Mark

    So maybe he shouldnt have been moving heroin then if he didnt want to risk getting sent back to iran….

    And ya white collar crimes often get overlooked no matter what country or sexual orientation you are. Nothing unusual here.

  • Martin

    Mark is absolutely right! The Swiss passed a law dictating the deportation of criminals, so why should he be treated differently ? If he really sought asylum, he would have behaved. He’s just trying to find an excuse not to be deported…

    And Switzerland is getting a lot of flak for this new law, but USA’s been doing it for a while now so…

  • ArtNYC

    Do the crime, do the time.

  • Susan

    >>>Well, yeah — because Polanski pled guilty to drugging and raping a little girl,>>>

    No, he pleaded guilty to “unlawful sexual intercourse”, not forcible rape. You may not appreciate the difference, but there is one according to California law. The Swiss refused to extradite because California could not prove that Polanski was facing or had done six months in jail for his crime, which is the minimum sentence required for extradition.

    This Swiss in this instance correctly upheld their treaty with the US.

  • the crustybastard

    @Susan: A 13-year-old girl said she was drugged and raped by Polanski in…virtually every manner possible, to put it as politely as possible.

    Polanski was certainly free to dispute those allegations in court. He didn’t.

    Polanski chose instead to take a deal where he copped to a lesser criminal act — unlawful sex with a MINOR (since you insist on being legally precise) — hoping the judge would give him a cakewalk sentence. When it appeared that the trial judge wasn’t going to do that, Polanski fled the country.

    That does indeed make Roman Polanski a confessed child rapist.

    Furthermore, it is the position of the US Department of Justice and the Obama Administration that the Swiss DIDN’T uphold their extradition treaty obligations.

    The Swiss effectively chose to entertain Polanski’s appellate claim, which was that his (now deceased) trial judge (a) committed misconduct, and (b) didn’t intend to sentence Polanski to any more than “time served,” and so the Swiss exonerated Polanski on those…well, imaginative bases.

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