Spain deports bin Laden’s son after denying political asylum

November 9th, 2008 - 12:28 am ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Nov 8 (DPA) Spain Saturday deported the son of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who had spent almost a week in the country trying to get political asylum.Omar bin Laden, 28, boarded a plane bound for Cairo Saturday, Spain’s Interior Ministry confirmed. Bin Laden’s lawyer criticized the move, saying bin Laden was being removed for political reasons.

Omar applied for asylum in Spain Monday. He and his British wife, Zaina al-Sabah, 52, were in Madrid on a stopover for a flight from Cairo to Casablanca in Morocco.

He requested asylum on the grounds that he did not feel safe in Saudi Arabia, where he is a citizen, or in Egypt, where he lives, or in any other Arab country.

However, Spain’s Interior Ministry rejected the application, saying that Omar does not face persecution in his native Saudi Arabia. It based its decision partly on a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The decision did not allow for any appeals.

Omar termed the decision “unjust” and said he was being denied asylum purely because of his last name. While in Spain, he rejected his father’s activities and termed himself a “man of peace”.

Omar’s attorney argued that he is harmless and is seeking asylum from political persecution. Omar was detained at the Madrid airport for his entire stay in Spain.

Omar is the fourth of 19 children fathered by Osama bin Laden. In April, he made an unsuccessful bid for political asylum in Britain.

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