Jordanian Activist Held at Beirut Embassy After Seeking Asylum in Australia, Amnesty Says

25-year-old LGBTQ and women's rights defender, who hails from an influential family in Jordan, was arrested by Lebanese authorities before a flight to Australia, Amnesty International says. Amman denies the arrest

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
File photo: A protester holds a rainbow flag.
File photo: A protester holds a rainbow flag.Credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

Lebanese authorities arrested a Jordanian LGBTQ and women's rights activist on their way to Australia, which granted them a humanitarian visa, Amnesty International said Saturday, calling for urgent action to prevent the 25-year-old asylum seeker's repatriation.

According to Amnesty, the activist has been held at the Jordanian Embassy in Beirut since their arrest on Tuesday, just two days before their planned journey to Australia. The rights group said "there are serious concerns" the activist's influential family are "manipulating their repatriation."

A spokesman for Jordan's Foreign Ministry, Haitham Abu Alfoul, denied Amnesty's report and told local news agency Ammon that "the Jordanian embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere does not detain anyone at all." Amnesty insists Amman is "actively seeking" the asylum seeker's repatriation.

The activist, who identifies as a non-binary lesbian, was told the Interpol has published a "red notice" for them, which is a request to arrest an individual pending extradition or other legal action.

If returned to Jordan, Amnesty has warned, they are facing forced "conversion therapy" and possible prosecution.

Katrina Parker, a case manager for U.S.-based Secular Rescue, said the activist "has fought hard for over two years to flee their violent and oppressive family, to speak out against punishments for apostates, and to defend the rights of women, and the LGBTQI+ community."

Their family, Amnesty noted, is "very influential with influence extending across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Many of their family members work for the Jordanian government and include a former minister." After fleeing to Turkey last year, the vocal activist's family tracked them down, forcing them to seek asylum elsewhere.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

A Palestinian flag is taken down from a building by Israeli authorities after being put up by an advocacy group that promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, in Ramat Gan, Israel earlier this month

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A Response to Eric Yoffie