Australian government urged to expedite asylum claim of detained gay journalists from Saudi Arabia

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The Australian Senate has joined multiple global news organizations in calling for the government to release two gay Saudi journalists detained more than a month ago. The two men are using the pseudonyms Sultan and Nassar to conceal their identities. Sultan is a former ministry of media employee and Nassar is a cameraman. They fled Saudi Arabia after Sultan was interrogated by Saudi authorities, who revealed to his family that he was gay (and Saudi Arabia is one of those countries where it is against the law to be gay) and forbade him to work abroad. So they had no other way rather than to escape to Australia, where they have been held in detention center for more than 5 weeks so far. As multiple news organizations around the world watch the case closely, the Australian Senate has now passed a motion calling on the government to regard that if they are sent back, they won’t survive in Saudi Arabia. Concerned this could happen to Nassar and Sultan, journalists from some of the world’s most prestigious news outlets, including BBC and ITN, have written to Australia’s immigration minister pledging their support for their asylum claim.

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