The London Employment Court has condemned the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), saying it was “shocking” in its duty to deal with a complaint filed by a British journalist of Algerian origin after he made racial allegations against his colleague and his bosses. Has failed. They are torturing him.
The court said – in a ruling seen by Al Jazeera Net – that Iraqi-born British journalist Safa Jabara used “outrageous and unacceptable racist” statements against her colleague Ahmed Rawba.
The referee said Jabara said of his colleague, “He always speaks with emotion. It's his nature because he's Algerian. It's the nature of the Bedouins. He's violent because there's a lot of violence in his country. He Can't talk peacefully. It's their nature and culture.” Ahmed Rawaba considered this a direct racist insult.
The court reported that Jabara's statement (which was contained in a written statement as part of an internal investigation) was in fact “racial harassment”, which neither Ahmed Rawba's bosses nor the BBC's human resources department did anything to stop. Had done something.
In his petition, Rawaba complained that he had faced a campaign of harassment, incitement and racism for years by his editor-in-chief, Muhammad Yahya, and his deputy, Mustafa Kazem. There were 13 complaints against him within the BBC. , all of which were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Rawaba has been working at the BBC for 12 years, and has previously worked for major sites including Bloomberg, Dow Jones and Al Jazeera.
In its judgment, the court indicated that BBC management had breached its duty of care in dealing with Rawba's complaint, because it did not take the necessary legal measures to address it at institutional level, and because of the corporation's failure to do so on every occasion.” Expressed surprise. To apply its approved definition of the concept of harassment.
The court said that the officials tasked with investigating the complaint ignored its seriousness, were negligent in enforcing the BBC's laws relating to racism in the workplace and behaved in a discriminatory manner towards the complainant.
Issues of racism are viewed with high sensitivity in the UK, this sensitivity is further increased when the respondent works for a major institution such as the BBC, which places great emphasis on concepts of equality and tackling discrimination.
Journalist Rawaba's case comes at a time when the institution is seeing deep changes, including cutbacks in several departments, culminating in the voluntary and mandatory layoffs of hundreds of journalists, many of whom are in the Arabic department, whose Traditional radio service had ended in the past. year, not to mention the transfer of large portions of digital production to Jordan.
The Rawaba case is one of a series of major cases related to racism that have rocked the BBC over the past 20 years.
In 2014, a British actress of Indian origin sued the corporation after accusing Top Gear broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson of using a racist slur on his program to refer to people of Asian origin. This was a case that was followed by another case involving the broadcaster himself, and ended with a final warning. to the BBC, which he eventually left.