UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Communication No. 16/1999
8 May 2000
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Art. 1(4): special protections to eliminate racism; Art. 6: effective remedy
An altercation occurred within a school, in which the headmaster allegedly made a number of racial slurs against Kashif Ahmed and a group of his friends. Mr. Ahmed later contacted the police who spoke to the headmaster but decided not to investigate the matter further, on the grounds that they did not consider the remarks made by the headmaster to be racist in nature in a manner prohibited by the Penal Code. The incident occurred in front of a sizable group of witnesses, none of whom were interviewed by police. Mr. Ahmed employed a lawyer to pursue his complaint, but the State Attorney supported the police in deciding not to pursue the matter. The Committee found that the investigation of the matter was insufficient to establish whether Mr. Ahmed had been subject to racist abuse, and so was incapable of providing protection against such treatment. The Committee recommended that the State act to “ensure that the police and the public prosecutors properly investigate accusations and complaints related to acts of racial discrimination which should be punishable by law according to Article 4 of the Convention”.
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