U.S. Denies Asylum To Gay Saudi Diplomat Who Claims He’s Facing Execution

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.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #aliahmadasseri #asylum #middleeast stories and more


  • Bill T.

    Why would the Saudi’s be upset over a gay person leaving their country? That’s what they want. Bad move, Obama Admin…

  • DJ Veno

    Omg help the poor guy!!

  • Chad

    He should pose as a mexican. he could then get assylum social security food stamps free health care, you name it.

  • christopher di spirito

    Ali Ahmad Asseri should just claim he’s Barack Obama’s brother from another mother.

    Not only would he get asylum but free housing and a car.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    As a willing functionary of the Saudi Government…enforcing Saudi law and tradition without coercion…why should he be suddenly granted protection after a career of being one of the oppressors? Would you give sanctuary to an arrested SS Officer from one of the camps after 1945 because he claimed to also be a Jew?

    He lived by and benefited from Saudi law, let him die by Saudi law.

  • Henry

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): As deeply troubling as it is to compare Saudi law to Nazi German law, you have a point.

  • Michael Lucas

    They should stone him and flay his skin to be an example for other muslim terrorists.

  • E.N.

    Its funny how many have jumped on to blame the victim, just because he worked in a public prosecutor office. And it got so hateful to the point of comparing him to a Nazi or for him to be stoned and skinned because he might be a Muslim as suggested by Mr. Michael Lucas.
    And I thought, gays lucky enough to live in an arguably well-educated, open-minded and liberated societies should help other gays living in suppressive societies. Maybe I thought wrong and gays just as apathetic and heartless as everybody else.

  • Allen D.

    @E.N.: Who do you think was punished by the Saudi prosecutors office? Gays and lesbians for starters. So he comes to America, gets a taste of a (well, free-er) free society… comes out, and now wants our sympathy & asylum??? Forgiveness of what he was a party to? Well, I’m sure there are plenty of gays, who were victims of his office, who would laugh at this petition and say he’ll get what he has coming to him.

Comments are closed.