Somaliland’s Taipei Office Found Not Prosecutable as Accused

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A former staff accused the Ambassador of wrongfully dismissing her while she accused another staff member of hugging her farewell as she departed

The Republic of Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan yesterday said that non-prosecution rulings had been issued for accusations of wrongful dismissal and sexual harassment against the office and its staff.

A woman, who used the alias “A”, accompanied by Taipei City Councilor Chang Shi-gang (張斯綱), held a press conference yesterday in Taipei.

She said that Somaliland Representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who she had worked with as a special assistant, refused to pay for her health and labor insurance or overtime work.

Mohamoud and his family often asked her to cover personal and office expenses first, but did not reimburse her voluntarily, she said.

She said the office blamed her for foreign domestic workers quitting and fired her maliciously.

After being dismissed, “A” applied to the Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs for labor dispute mediation, but Mohamoud did not attend on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity, she said.

She then filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected the case on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction over the issue, she said, adding that the office still owes her wages, labor and health insurance payments and severance pay.

She also said that a coworker forcibly hugged her before her departure.

She reported the incident to the police, but the defendant was not prosecuted, as the prosecutors considered the hug “a blessing,” she said.

The coworker, who served as the head of economy and trade at the office, held a student visa rather than a work visa, Chang said.

In response, the office said that the accusations were not true.

“A” filed lawsuits over her dismissal and alleged sexual harassment, which the prosecutors decided not to pursue, the office said.

The office also said that all due fees had been paid to “A,” and the staff member holding a student visa had obtained a work permit and worked part-time in accordance with Taiwan’s laws.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it had contacted “A” several times, after it learned about the situation last year.

The ministry also asked the office to handle labor disputes concerning Taiwanese employees according to local regulations, it said.

It notified the office that foreign students in Taiwan must apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor before they are allowed to work, it said.

The ministry respects the result of the investigation conducted by prosecutors and the police as well as the court’s ruling, it said.

By Liu Tzu-hsuan

Taipei Times

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