Saima Mohsin to sue CNN for racial discrimination


LONDON: Saima Mohsin, a former CNN reporter, is suing the channel for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal after she was left disabled following an Israel assignment.

In 2014, reporting on the Palestine-Israel conflict in Jerusalem, Mohsin’s cameraman ran over her foot in a car, causing severe tissue damage that has left the British-Pakistani journalist unable to work full-time.

According to the Guardian, Mohsin requested alternative duties and support for rehabilitation, but CNN refused. She also asked CNN if she could switch to a presenting role in order to reduce the amount of time spent travelling but was allegedly told “you don’t have the look we are looking for”.

Three years later the channel terminated her contract.

She said she had decided to bring the employment tribunal claim, which will be heard in London on Monday, because the network had failed to support their employee.

She told the Guardian: “I worked hard to become an international correspondent and loved my job with CNN. I risked my life many times on assignment for CNN believing they would have my back. They did not.”

Mohsin’s also alleges race and disability discrimination, as well as a complaint about the gender pay gap at CNN. She claims she was denied high profile opportunities, with managers choosing to put white American correspondents on air even when she was ready to go live on the ground.

CNN declined to comment on the allegations. The broadcaster is opposing the claim on territorial grounds, arguing that the terms of Mohsin’s contract mean she does not have the right to bring a case in London.

Mohsin now presents programmes for Sky News on a freelance basis and has made a programme for ITV about the pain of living with invisible disabilities.

She is represented by lawyers Paras Gorasia and Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, who also acted for cricketer Azeem Rafiq in his claim against Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

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