SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
SECTION27 has sent a request to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health, reqesting him to investigate alleged violations of the right to health against the State of Qatar. In October 2010, “MR” was employed by Al Jazeera English as a Senior Editor and moved to Qatar. Following severe discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by both Al Jazeera and Qatar, MR was detained by Qatari authorities, and then unfairly dismissed by Al Jazeera and deported from Qatar in January 2011. The reason for his detention, dismissal and deportation was his HIV status. This is a direct violation of the right to health and cannot be condoned.
2 May 2012 On 1 March 2012, SECTION27 wrote to the organisers of the international AIDS Conference concerning severe human rights violations against our client, MR, on the basis of his HIV status. MR was unfairly dismissed by Al Jazeera…
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) recently demonstrated its continued support of “MR”, a SECTION27 client who has faced severe discrimination by the State of Qatar (“Qatar”) and Al Jazeera English Online (“Al Jazeera”) on the basis of his HIV status. MR was dismissed from his position as a senior editor at Al Jazeera and detained by and deported from Qatar solely because he is living with HIV. The ITUC recently wrote a letter to Al Jazeera calling for the company to reinstate MR and “play a leading role in working with the Qatari government to eliminate the discriminatory laws that undermine universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and deepen the stigma attaching to HIV status”.
The letter and a press statement from the ITUC are available by clicking “read more” below. SECTION27 wholly supports these calls and believes that Al Jazeera must use its influence to fight discrimination rather than perpetrate it.
“Mr”, a SECTION27 client, has faced severe discrimination by the State of Qatar and Al Jazeera English on the basis of his HIV status. The International Trade Union Confederation recently came to his support in a letter that begins:
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which represents 175 millions workers in 151 countries worldwide, is deeply concerned regarding the recent humiliating detention, dismissal and deportation of Mr, a South African Employee of Al Jazeera English Online (“Al-Jazeera”) on the basis of his HIV status. This violation was recently brought to our attention by SECTION27, a renowned South African human rights organization.”
On the eve of World AIDS Day we are publicising an important case concerning vicious and humiliating human rights abuses on the basis of a person’s HIV status by a respected international media organisation, Al Jazeera. These violations are contrary to key principles of South Africa’s own response to HIV as well as well as the strategy of the leading United Nations body dealing with HIV; the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) aims to achieve zero discrimination by 2015.
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