World / Asia-Pacific

Australian man receives compensation for racial abuse

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-06 16:18

SYDNEY - An Pakistan-born Australian man, who was abused by a strip club bouncer and told the country was for "white people", was on Friday awarded compensation over the attack.

The security guard his profession also known as "bouncer" - was ordered to pay Waqas Haider 9,000 Australian dollars ($7,045) over the abuse which took place in Darwin a year ago.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the Australian Federal Court's Justice Mansfield ruled the bouncer committed unlawful discrimination against Haider, "by using language which was reasonably likely in the circumstances to offend, insult and intimidate him by reason of his race and ethnic origin."

Haider had unsuccessfully sought help from Northern Territory (NT) police, the NT Anti-Discrimination Board and the Australian Human Rights Commission before taking the matter to the Federal Court.

Footage of incident taken on a mobile phone by a bystander showed Haider picked up balloons blown onto a road from the Honey Pot strip club.

Haider, who became an Australian citizen in 2013, complained to the bouncer that the balloons were causing a traffic hazard.

The bouncer told Haider he was not white and should go back to his "own country".

"You're an Indian mate. Have ... respect for our country," the security guard yelled in the footage aired in court.

"Speak English ... it's our country. Australia mate. White people."

Haider responded "I have respect for your country," and "it is my country as well".

Haider then said "I am an Australian," only to be told "you're not white" by the unnamed bouncer.

The argument degenerated, with the unnamed bouncer ending it by shoving Haider, who was clutching around 10 balloons.

The bouncer later told investigators he had no recollection of the incident.

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