A father who kidnapped his 18-year-old gay son and tried to drive him to their native Lebanon so he could marry him off and ‘cure’ his homosexuality has been fined £1,000.
Nasser El-A. came out as gay at the age of 15 but his Muslim family considered it an affront on their faith and said it was unacceptable.
His relatives tried to force him into a marriage to ‘put him back on the right path’ – and led by Nasser’s father, later kidnapped him with the intention of taking him back to Lebanon.
Today the teenager’s father and two uncles stood trial at Berlin Criminal Court and escaped with a fine of £1,000 each as punishment.
Nasser is hoping his plight will raise awareness of the challenges faced by many gay Muslim men, The Local reports.
When he first told his family about his sexuality in 2012, he was threatened with shocking violence.
His uncle covered him in petrol and threatened to set him alight and later poured boiling water all over him.
Speaking to Tagesspiegel, he said: ‘I’m not someone who hides away. I don’t want to suppress my sexuality. My father said he would personally ram a knife into my throat.
Nasser ran away from home rather than face the the physical and mental abuse.
Meets gay icon: The 18-year-old met German filmmaker and gay activist Rosa von Praunheim (left) at court in Berlin today
At first he struggled to find refuge and says the lack of accommodation or shelter for vulnerable young men is another important point he wanted to highlight with his case.
He eventually found a home with an organisation called Papatya, which is aimed at housing vulnerable girls and young women.
He was later invited back home by his mother, with his father supposedly at work, and returned only to be kidnapped.
The family had hoped to smuggle him back to Lebanon with a forced marriage in mind, but were stopped by authorities on the Romanian-Bulgarian border and brought back to Berlin.
Despite Nasser’s father and uncles not turning up in court for their sentence, the defiant teenager saw the day as a victory.
He was pictured wearing a badge saying ‘Stop homophobia’ and a rainbow wristband in widely-circulated photos – making sure that he brought his cause to the widest audience he could reach.