11 Jun 2012

New Caledonia discrimination case in court

8:17 am on 11 June 2012

New Caledonia's Human Rights League has taken the managers of a nightclub to court as part of an unprecedented campaign to curb racial discrimination.

According to Noumea's daily newspaper, the managers have been summoned by the criminal court faced with accusations of systematic discrimination against Kanak people.

Following complaints to the League by young people being turned away from the city's clubs, the League arranged for nine Kanak and nine European-looking people carrying hidden recording equipment to gradually try to get access to a well-known Noumea premise.

Wearing correct attire and being tested by a doctor to be sober, the Kanaks were refused entry while the others were admitted.

The Human Rights League says it chose the nightclub situation because it is easier to show racial discrimination there than in the context of housing or employment.

The nightclub case is to be heard in October, and if found guilty, the managers could be jailed and fined, and forced to close their business.