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Gay muslim takes on UK Deutsche Bank

Allegations of racism and homophobia


March 18, 2005

Picket of Deutsche Bank conference in protest at alleged racist and homophobic victimisation of gay Muslim employee, Sid Saeed (right, Sid's brother Nimo) Photographer: Brett Lock. � 2005 OutRage! News Service
LONDON — A gay Muslim business manager, Sid Saeed, has bought a claim of racial victimisation and homophobic harassment against the London division one of the world.s biggest financial institutions, the German conglomerate, Deutsche Bank.

His case is scheduled to be heard at a central London employment tribunal in late April.

Mr Saeed is being advised and supported by gay human rights group OutRage!, which is planning a major campaign against Deutsche Bank if the case is not satisfactorily resolved.

Mr Saeed, whose parents settled in Britain from Pakistan, was a city high flier. As futures and options business manager, he rose to become vice-president of Deutsche Bank.s global exchange services division, based in the Square Mile.

Mr Saeed claims that in 2001 he began to be subjected to racist and homophobic abuse by senior managers. He alleges they called him a 'fucking fag' and 'gay boy', made abusive remarks about 'shit stabbers', and said 'not only is Sid a Paki, but he's a queer..'

Some of these claims have already been verified in a previous investigation and others will be confirmed by witnesses who are scheduled to testify on Mr Saeed's behalf.

Coinciding with this abuse, his meteoric rise in the company suddenly stalled. With his prestigious career falling part, Mr Saeed had a nervous breakdown, sank into a deep depression, attempted suicide four times and had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Mr Saeed reports that three days after he made his complaints about the harassment he had suffered, Deutsche Bank cut all funding for his treatment, resulting in his sudden discharge from the psychiatric hospital where he was receiving care.

Deutsche Bank deny the accusations against them and are contesting Mr Saeed's legal action.

This is the first claim against a city firm under the new laws prohibiting homophobic discrimination in the workplace.

'The equal opportunities policy of Deutsche Bank appears to be in effectual and unenforced,' said Brett Lock of OutRage!

'These allegations suggest a culture of corporate indifference to racist and homophobic harassment.'

'We hope this legal action will be a warning to other big city firms that tolerating anti-gay and anti-black victimisation in the workplace is illegal and unacceptable in a civilised society.'

'It is in Deutsche Bank.s interest to ensure that all its employees feel respected and secure. Racial and sexual orientation harassment undermine staff morale and damage a company.s public reputation, which is bad for business.'

'OutRage! is willing to advise Deutsche Bank on ensuring its equal opportunities policy has effective mechanisms for enforcement and redress,' said Mr Lock.

Mr Saeed is being represented by Mark Emery, a specialist in employment law at Bindman and Partners Solicitors – OutRage!


Related stories
UK gays attacked at Palestine rights protest [19/05/2004]

 

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