A gay Iranian will be sent back to Iran under laws which require non-citizens to be automatically expelled if convicted of serious crimes.

The 35-year-old has been living in Switzerland since 2000 and married a Swiss man through a civil partnership in 2004. But not long after, he was convicted of trafficking 70 grams of heroin, and was denied long-term residency in 2007.

The man appealed but last week an administrative tribunal found that “homosexuality is not uncommon in the Iranian society and systematic discrimination is not detectable,” and claimed that gay men who were discreet were tolerated in the country.

The court rejected claims that the situation had gotten worse under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the couple had visited Iran since his taking power.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is estimated to have executed around 4000 gay men over three decades, and human rights groups have reported that Iranian police routinely entrap gay men and torture them to discover the identities of their lovers.

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