Even as the "gayest" team in the Olympics, the Sweden women's soccer team, advanced to the gold-medal match in Rio, we've learned that Sweden plans to deport a Liberian gay soccer player who had sought safety in Sweden.
Andrew Nagbe was reportedly detained by immigration services at a recent pride festival in Sweden because his papers were not in order. Now the country will deport him to Liberia, which is just about the worst country in the world on LGBT issues.
If he is deported to Liberia, Nagbe faces a judicial system that has criminalized homosexuality. Facing a one-year prison sentence, Nagbe knows it will be a year of total hell.
"In prison I will be raped and beaten every day until I am released and can leave the country again," Nagbe told Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish publication. Everyone in Liberia now knows that I'm gay, so they will do what they want with me. That's why I do not want to go home."
Apparently the Swedish government doesn't believe Nagbe, that he will face such atrocities.
"Our assessment is that there is a danger of homosexuals in Liberia with the risk of harassment and more," Michael Persson, head of the department of administrative processing at the Swedish Migration Board, told Dagens Nyheter. "But there is no evidence that there are abuses that are sanctioned by the state. We always do individual tests based on the asylum application as the foundation, and it is up to the applicant to come up with credible evidence."
It's a sad move by a government and people who are considered (by white people) to be incredibly inclusive, given how far ahead of the curve Scandinavia has been on same-sex marriage. I'm left wondering if the same fate would befall Nagbe if he were white.
Hat tip to Dan Savage