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Switzerland to expel gay Iranian after drug conviction

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    GENEVA — An Iranian man convicted of heroin trafficking will be expelled and returned to his home country, a Swiss court said Monday, even though the man claimed that he could be persecuted for being homosexual

    The Federal Administrative Tribunal threw out the 35-year-old's argument, saying in its decision made public Monday that "at the moment there is no known case from Iran in which someone has been convicted due to his sexual orientation."

    The court said that as far as Swiss authorities understand, "homosexuality is not uncommon in the Iranian society and systematic discrimination is not detectable."

    "In practice, homosexuality is tolerated by the authorities when it is not done openly in view in an offensive manner," said the court.

    The court also pointed out that the man had travelled once alone and twice to Iran with his Swiss partner without any repercussions.

    In fact, two of the three visits were made after 2005. Therefore, the court argued, the man's claim that the situation for homosexuals has worsened since Iranian President Ahmadinejad took power did not hold water.

    Reacting to the case, Amnesty International said: "It is not acceptable for the court to state that if he conceals his homosexuality he will not have any problems."

    It added that "a person cannot be expected or required by the state to change or conceal his or her identity in order to avoid persecution."

    "Swiss authorities must give the applicant the benefit of the doubt in all cases, not least where the stakes are life and death," said the human rights group.

    The man first arrived in Switzerland to seek asylum in December 2000. His application was rejected twice, but he obtained a short-term residence permit in December 2004 due to a civil union pact with his Swiss partner.

    However, after he was convicted for trafficking 70 grams of heroin, his attempt at renewing his residence permit was rejected in December 2007.

    He then went to court to get the decision on his residency overturned, arguing that homosexuals can be severely punished in Iran and could risk their lives.

    Late last year, the Swiss population voted to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, including "rape, serious sexual offence, acts of violence such as robbery," drug trafficking and "abuse of social aid."

    Feb 14, 2011



  1. ianzombie
    Such nonsense. Iran regularly hang homosexuals, they tend to construct false crimes for the men to have supposedly commit. Two 15 year old boys were hung a few years ago for being homosexual.
    It is likely that this man will face persecution on returning home, if not directly from the government then from locals.
  2. mickey_bee
    So true, Swim has seen more than one horrific video leaked to the net of iranians being hung/beaten/legs broken, in broad daylight, surrounded by a crowd of 'civilians', with obvious police presence, doing absolutely nothing about it.

    Swim understands that public execution, particularly hanging, (in the form of a crane lifting 3 or more men/women into the air and holding them there until all signs of life decease), is common, however, these are officially sanctioned executions, and public executions/stonings/torture, are far more common, and the police, like with the 'sanctioned' crane hangings, do sod all but feebly hold the crowds, - often families with young children - back. In short, the Iranian authorities turn a blind eye to 'mob-justice'. As has been seen in so many countriesin the last few years - listing them would simply take days.

    The point is - a desperate refugee, gets whatever funds he can - FULLY KNOWING THE RISKS - yet despite knowing this, does it anyway, in the hope of escaping the shit around him - any human being would do the same, having been put in the same situation. It's not like Switzerlands overflowing with convicts and is on the breadline - it's one of the richest countries on earth!

    This man has a very valid case, especially considering it was only 70grams of heroin - swim knows if he was gay and lived in Iran, he'd take that chance. By all means imprison him, but if he is provably homosexual - imprison him in Switzerland for attempting to import drugs.

    Return him to Iran, particularly given the media coverage, and he'd be better off dead IMO.
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