Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Qatar embassy in London faces legal action over racial discrimination

Mohamoud Ahmed claims he was called a “black slave” and physically assaulted

The Embassy of Qatar in London. The National
The Embassy of Qatar in London. The National

A former receptionist at the Qatar embassy in London is attempting to raise £25,000 so he can fund legal action against his ex-employers over claims of racial discrimination.

Mohamoud Ahmed, 79, from Kensington, worked for over 20 years at the embassy before being dismissed in 2013.

The pensioner, who is being represented by Axiom Stone solicitors, claims that he suffered verbal and physical abuse from a Qatari diplomat, who called him a “black slave” and assaulted him.

In a crowdfunding page set up by his son, Somali-born Mr Ahmed claims to have been “immediately sacked” when he stood up to the abuse.

Mr Ahmed, who has British citizenship, had his legal claim delayed while the embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity from UK employment laws.

In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that embassies in the UK could not claim immunity from such laws.

Mr Ahmed’s son Rashid said the family had paid the legal costs until now but “now have to find a much needed shortfall to afford to attend the court”.

He added that his father’s case is one of the first to go to trial against an embassy in the UK.

“Embassies in the UK have been able to hide behind the shield of state immunity for so many years and, in our case, we hope to bring to light Qatari human rights abuses that have been suppressed for too long,” he wrote.

The Qatari embassy did not respond to The National’s request for comment on Tuesday.

Updated: February 20, 2019 08:26 PM

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