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Muslim Wins Discrimination Case ‎Against Western Union

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Minister Of Minerals And ‎Water Mysteriously Disappears‎

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Regional Affairs

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Press Release

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A UN Food Aid Ship Comes Under Attack

Special Report

International News

No End In Sight To Hunger And Pain

Muslim Wins Discrimination Case ‎Against Western Union‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

Djibouti Politics: US Forces To Remain ‎Through 2007‎‎‎

YEMEN: Government Concerned Over Maritime Piracy

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Wife Through The Looking Glass

Letter To Editor‎‎‎


March 16, 2006 – AN Irish Muslim was refused just over € 70 in cash by an international money transfer company because his name was similar to one on a terrorist list compiled by the United States Treasury Department.

Mohamed Haji Hassan, a Somali national and a naturalized Irish citizen, was told by Western Union that the money, sent to him by his sister in Britain in October 2002, would not be released until a copy of his passport was sent to the United States Treasury Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Hassan sought legal assistance from the Equality Authority and then decided to have his case investigated by an equality officer of the Equality Tribunal.

The equality officer found that Western Union Services (Ireland) Limited had indirectly discriminated against Mr. Hassan, a prominent member of the Association of Refugees and Asylum seekers in Ireland and awarded him € 4,000.

The Equality Authority welcomed the tribunal’s decision and said it was the first finding of discrimination on the religion ground under the Equal Status Acts.

Western Union told the tribunal that they screen all payments against lists of names of persons and organizations as being associated with terrorism, narcotics, trafficking and other illegal activity provided by the US, European Union, governments and regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

When the sender or recipient of a money transfer has a name identical or similar to one of the names on the lists, they suspend the transaction and investigate the matter.

They said Mr. Hassan’s name was deemed similar to one of the names.

The equality officer, however, was not satisfied that the procedures followed by Western Union after the money was frozen were essential to achieve the legitimate objective of preventing the transfer of funds to terrorists or that the procedures complied with EU law.

By Evelyn Ring

Source: Irish Exmainer , Mar 16, 2006

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