/ Mad Wednesdays / Government & Organisations / Standing on the inside looking out – Gay Saudi journalist seeking asylum speaks from detention


UPDATE – Sultan was released from detention on Tuesday 17th December 2020 thanks to the advocacy and pressure that was applied to the Government.

Dean Arcuri speaks to a gay asylum seeker stuck in detention.

Arriving in Australia with valid tourist visas, gay Saudi Arabian journalist Sultan and Nassar* were asked if they intended to seek asylum by a clerk at customs. They thought it would be best to be honest and upfront about their intentions, and that they would be seeking asylum to flee from persecution because of their sexuality.

But standing at the airport at customs, the entrance to a new life was stolen from them. They were handcuffed, put into a van and taken to a detention centre where they’ve remained under guard for over two months.

Sultan shares with Dean what this has been like as he waits for the day the couple will be set free. Then two days later, Nassar was freed and Sultan remains in detention due to a clerical error. He should be free and with his partner by now, instead he is waiting and hoping that this will change before the end of the year.

This is just one asylum seekers story, there are many more whose stories we are not hearing.

This is our Australia!

*Sultan and Nassar’s names have been changed to protect their identities


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