The United States government denied political asylum to Ali Ahmad Asseri, the former first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, last week to avoid disrupting US-Saudi relations, according to a Saudi-American blogger and journalist based in Brazil.

Asseri argued that if he returned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia he would face execution because the country's radically fundamental form of Islam mandates the death penalty for same-sex relations.

The Saudi-American journalist and blogger, Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, appears to have been the first writer to report on the asylum rejection. The possible deportation of Asseri to Saudi Arabia has electrified blog observers of the case over the last few days.

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