Nasser summoned up the courage to tell his parents he was gay when he was 15. His father responded by calling him a “pansy” and said he would ram a knife into his throat. The uncle of the Lebanese teenager, who was born in Berlin, doused him in petrol and threatened to set him ablaze.
Nasser’s ordeal did not end there. His family beat him with cables, poured boiling water over his body and made jokes about his homosexuality. Nasser ran away and found shelter in a refuge for battered young women. When his mother finally persuaded him to return home, it turned out to be a trick.
In December 2012, the teenager was bundled into the back of a car by his family and driven towards Lebanon, where his parents hoped to force him into marrying a Lebanese girl to “set him on the right path”. But at the Romanian-Bulgarian border, guards intervened and sent him back to Berlin.
Today, a Berlin court convicted Nasser’s father and two uncles of kidnapping and abduction and ordered them to pay fines of €1,350 (£960) each. Despite the low fines imposed, the case was regarded as a legal landmark and expected to raise public awareness about homophobia.
Nasser, who is now 18 and whose name has not been published by the German court, attended the trial sporting a badge with the slogan “Stop Homophobia”.
He told Germany’s Bild newspaper how he was paralysed with fear in 2012 after admitting to his family that he was gay. “My uncle poured petrol over me and came up to me with a lighted cigarette shouting, ‘Are you queer?’ I screamed, ‘No, no,’” he said.
“My father said he would ram a knife into my throat,” he recalled. His father and two uncles did not attend the hearing. But Nasser remained defiant: “At least I brought this to court; there are many similar cases which never get this far,” he said.Reuse content