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Report: Saudi diplomat in L.A. seeks asylum, says he is gay

September 13, 2010 |  9:11 pm

A Los Angeles-based Saudi diplomat is seeking asylum, saying his life is endangered because he is gay and friends with a Jewish woman, according to a media report.

Ali Ahmad Asseri, first secretary of the Saudi consulate, told U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials refused to renew his diplomatic passport and terminated his position after finding out about his sexual orientation and his Jewish friend, NBC News reported.

Asseri said he could face political persecution and even death if he returns to Saudi Arabia, according to the report.

"My life is in great danger here, and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight," the report quoted Asseri as saying in an e-mail.

The Guardian of London, reporting about the incident, said that the last time a Saudi diplomat sought refuge in the United States was 1994.

-- Robert J. Lopez