Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Pensioner calls on UK government to expel Qatari diplomat

Mahamoud Ahmed was racially abused while working at the country's embassy in London

Mahamoud Ahmed, former employee of the Qatar Embassy in London. Pete Maclaine / i-Images
Mahamoud Ahmed, former employee of the Qatar Embassy in London. Pete Maclaine / i-Images

A man who suffered racial discrimination while working at the Qatari embassy in London has called on Britain’s foreign secretary to change the law so diplomats who abuse staff can be expelled.

Mahamoud Ahmed, 79, was found to have been racially abused by medical attache Abdullah Al Ansari while working at the Mayfair embassy as a night security officer.

Somalian-born Mr Ahmed was called a “black slave”, “donkey” and “dog”, and was pushed by the Qatari diplomat during an incident in 2013.

An employment tribunal in London last month found Mr Ahmed had then been dismissed by Mr Al Ansari on the basis of his race and he was awarded £8,000 in damages.

Mr Ahmed’s local member in parliament, Greg Hands, requested that the government consider stripping diplomats of their immunity or expelling them from the country if they breach employment laws.

Mr Ahmed was originally unable to have his case heard until 2019 because the Qatari embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity against his complaint.

But a 2017 Supreme Court ruled that claiming immunity from employment laws was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, allowing the case to go ahead.

Mr Hands wrote to Jeremy Hunt, the UK Foreign Secretary, to look again at the Supreme Court ruling and whether legal action could be taken to punish diplomats in such cases.

As it stands, embassies in the UK are protected from claims of unfair dismissal through the State Immunity Act.

Updated: April 21, 2019 11:24 PM

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