UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’

Butlins is a large holiday chain with camps across the UK. (WikiCommons)
Updated 14 December 2017
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UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’

LONDON: The father of a girl barred from riding the dodgems at Butlins while wearing a hijab has launched a discrimination case against the British holiday company.
Moammer Nasser, 41 visited Butlins in Minehead last June with his wife and four children, UK media reported. His 16-year-old daughter was approached by an attendant while the family was queuing for a bumper-car ride, he said, and was allegedly denied access due to her hijab.
Nasser asked to see evidence of a policy banning hijabs at Butlins after the attendant cited health and safety concerns.
“I was shown a safety code which stated that some disabled guests or those with physical injuries may not be able to use rides safely,” Nasser told The Guardian. “But wearing a hijab is not a disability or a physical injury.”
“During our stay at the resort there was another lady who was wearing a scarf around her neck and was allowed on the rides; many people were wearing hoods and the tie strings were hanging … yet they were still allowed on the rides,” Nasser said.
“We were humiliated in front of other fairground users … People were looking at us as if we were criminals, being stopped and questioned by the ride attendant, followed by a supervisor and the fairground manager coming out to speak to us whilst people stared and looked at my family, probably assuming that we had done something wrong.”
Nasser is now bringing a claim for race and religious discrimination against Butlins, a large holiday chain with camps across the UK.
He has launched a crowd justice campaign to fund the legal action, claiming that his daughter’s hijab in no way presented a health and safety concern.
“The hijab covered her face and neck. It was raining so she was wearing a jacket and so the part of the hijab covering her neck was tucked into her jacket,” he said.
A spokesperson from Butlins denied discrimination was involved and said staff are trained not to compromise when it comes to the health and safety of guests.


Cambodia genocide verdict a signal to other perpetrators: US

The historic verdict comes nearly 40 years after the Khmer Rouge were expelled from Cambodia following a four-year reign of terror that left about a quarter of the population dead. (AP)
Updated 50 min ago
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Cambodia genocide verdict a signal to other perpetrators: US

  • A war crimes tribunal in Cambodia found the Khmer Rouge’s former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 92, guilty of genocide on Friday
  • Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities: US State Department

PHNOM PENH: The US has welcomed Cambodia’s landmark genocide verdict and said it served as a warning that perpetrators of mass atrocities, “even those at the highest levels,” will eventually face justice for their crimes.
A war crimes tribunal in Cambodia found the Khmer Rouge’s former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 92, guilty of genocide on Friday and sentenced them to life in prison.
The historic verdict comes nearly 40 years after the Khmer Rouge were expelled from Cambodia following a four-year reign of terror that left about a quarter of the population dead from starvation, mass executions, and overwork.
“Their crimes were numerous, calculated, and grave,” US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, commending the courage of the victims and witnesses who testified during the trial.
“Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities, even those at the highest levels, including former heads of state, that such actions will not be tolerated and they will ultimately be brought to justice,” she said in a statement.
Cambodia’s neighbor Myanmar has come under fire in recent months for its handling of the Rohingya crisis, which United Nations investigators believe amounts to “genocide” given the atrocities perpetrated on the stateless Muslim minority.
Myanmar has denied the allegations but UN investigators have urged that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution.
Despite the show of support for war crimes prosecution, the US is one of the few Western countries that is not signed up to the ICC, which has a mandate to investigate the gravest offenses including genocide and crimes against humanity.
The country’s refusal to be party to the body erupted again following an ICC request to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and threatened to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the court if it moved to charge any American.