A GAY Saudi Arabian entrepreneur has spoken of his relief after an immigration tribunal granted him asylum in Scotland – almost four years after he first applied.

Talal al-Remal fled to Scotland in 2017 with his wife and their three daughters who had been pressured to enter arranged marriages in their home country.

His wife and the girls were granted asylum here, but his case was dismissed.

However, yesterday his lawyer Usman Aslam gave him the news he had been praying for: “Usman called me and asked where I was and said I should take a seat.

The National:

“But I took a bus home and he told me that we had won the asylum case – now I can relax and I am having a glass of wine to celebrate.

“The Home Office can appeal against the decision – they may or may not – so we’ll have to wait and see. But for now I am very happy.”

Al-Remal previously told The National how his family forced him into marriage in Saudi Arabia to have children to carry on the family lineage.

However, after having three daughters, they pressured him further to either have a son or find a new wife.

He fled the kingdom with his family, worried that his daughters would be married off before the had the opportunity to go into further education. Al-Remal said he wanted his daughters to have the choice of education and when and if they wanted to marry.

Saudi Arabia has seen increasing numbers of human rights abuses over recent years. The country is an absolute monarchy where Muslims have to abide by strict Sharia law.

Under this someone who is guilty of theft could have their hand cut off, or an adulterer may be stoned to death.

“If you are discovered to be gay according to Islamic laws, they take you to the highest building in the country, tie your hands and push you from it,” said al-Remal, adding that although the sentence was not normally carried out, accidents were commonplace.

Now he is aiming to start a business in Scotland, offering consultancy services to Middle Eastern countries: “I want to give something back to Scotland and there is a lot of money out there, so I would like Scotland to have that.

“I still have very good connections in the region, in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and so on, and I want to use that to help build my business in Scotland.”

Looking to the future, he said in the medium to long term he wanted to become an MP, saying that he wanted to “add value” through changing the immigration system.

“Some people, not all but the majority, come here to benefit from Scotland, not adding value,” he said.

“I’ve never had any problems here, I’m a good citizen and I’d like to work with people here and get them work here or overseas in the consultancy business I can now start.”

Al-Remal also has a partner in Saudi Arabia and said he eventually wanted to bring him over here to start “living the rest of my life”.

He added: “I must thank my lawyer, who has believed me and fought for me from day one. He only ever complained about my punctuality, which is one of my trademarks.”

READ MORE: 'I fled Saudi to let daughters live own lives': Asylum seeker speaks out

Aslam, from Rea Law in Glasgow, told The National: “I am delighted that the court has ruled in Talal’s favour. I have been fighting for him for all but four years and it has been a pleasure in persisting.

“It is hoped that this case highlights the reality for LGBT communities in very oppressive states such as Saudi Arabia.

“It is also hoped that this will let the public realise even more that Refugees come from different backgrounds.

“This is a highly qualified individual who has so much to offer Scotland but would have been persecuted just because of his sexuality. Refugees are human beings.”