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British-Pakistani journalist Saima Mohsin sues CNN for unfair dismissal, racial discrimination

British-Pakistani journalist Saima Mohsin sues CNN for unfair dismissal, racial discrimination

British-Pakistani journalist and former CNN reporter, Saima Mohsin, on Monday (July 10) said she is suing the United States-based broadcaster for alleged discrimination and unfair termination of employment after she was severely injured during an assignment in Israel. The employment tribunal claim will be brought to court in London, United Kingdom, which says that the network had failed to support her after the life-changing injury.

What happened to Saima Mohsin during the assignment in Israel?

According to a report by The Guardian, Mohsin was left disabled when she was reporting from Jerusalem on the Israel-Palestine conflict back in 2014 after her cameraman ran over her foot with a car. The injury left the now-former CNN reporter unable to sit, stand and walk which in turn also affected her ability to work full-time.

The incident had reportedly caused severe tissue damage to her foot and the CNN foreign correspondent requested alternative duties and support for rehabilitation which the US-based broadcaster refused.

“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,” said the British-Pakistani journalist, as quoted by The Guardian.

In addition to the allegations of race and disability discrimination, Mohsin has also complained about the gender wage gap at CNN. In line with the claims of race-based discrimination in the US-based channel, the British-Pakistani journalist said that she was denied high-profile on-air opportunities.

Additionally, she alleged that the managers chose to put White American correspondents on air even when she was ready to go live on the ground, reported The Guardian.

“I’m also taking the opportunity to highlight the racism and gender pay gap issues that I experienced. I was repeatedly let down and denied the ability to achieve my potential while I was at CNN,” said Mohsin, as per the British media report.

She added, “I am bringing my claim to take a stand and call for change to ensure women journalists, and women journalists of color, are better protected.”

How did CNN respond to the reporter’s injury?

In addition to reportedly denying her alternative duties and support for rehabilitation, CNN, as per Mohsin’s claims also refused to switch her to a presenting role to reduce travel time but was allegedly told “you don’t have the look we are looking for.” The channel then went on to terminate her three years later.

Meanwhile, the US-based channel, as per The Guardian has also refused to comment on the allegations.

Currently, the British-Pakistani journalist works as a freelancer and presents programs for Sky News and also made a program for ITV about the pain of living with invisible disabilities.

Ahead of her hearing in the London court, on Monday, Mohsin took to Twitter and wrote, “I was injured on assignment for CNN. They fired me.” She added, “We risk our lives in the field trusting we’ll be taken care of. I’m suing for unfair dismissal, disability & race discrimination. CNN wants my case thrown out.”

The British-Pakistani journalist also called it a “big week” for her at the employment tribunal. Speaking about the larger issue, Mohsin said that her claim raises important questions about journalist safety and the treatment of women of color in the industry.

“This should cause concern for all foreign correspondents who travel around the world – and take risks to do their journalism in the belief their employer will take care of them,” said the Sky News presenter, as quoted by The Guardian.

Source: WION

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