asylum

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.