Woman Claims Sex Harassment at UN Saudi Mission

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009  |  Updated 12:01 PM EDT
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Woman Claims Sex Harassment at UN Saudi Mission

A woman is suing Saudi Arabia's mission to the United Nations alleging sexual harassment.

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A Jordanian woman has filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia's mission to the United Nations, claiming an official repeatedly exposed her to “egregious'' and “perverted'' sexual harassment that included groping, punching and trying to kiss her.

     In the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, Gulnar Hijazi accused the mission's Charge d'affairs Abdul latif Sallam of making sexual advances on a weekly basis shortly after she started working there in 2006.
    
She claims that Sallam made remarks about her mouth and other body parts and said he wanted to suck her breasts. Another time, he said:”Consider me your baby and breast-feed me.''
    
Hijazi also said that Sallam e-mailed hard-core pornographic images to her and other female employees at the mission, punched her once in the chest and made a lewd gesture simulating masturbation.
    
The lawsuit, filed this week, claims Sallam reached under the table and groped Hijazi during a 2007 meeting at the U.N. and squeezed her breast last summer in the corridor next the copy machine room.
    
When she complained, Hijazi says she was subjected to further “degrading treatment.'' Hijazi said she was treated differently than her Saudi colleagues because she's Jordanian.
    
A message left with the mission wasn't immediately returned Friday night.

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