Press regulator IPSO has rejected a complaint against The Sun from a senior UN official that the suggestion he should “clear off back to his own continent” was discriminatory.
UN special rapporteur Maina Kiai complained about an online article headlined: “Meddling UN Human Rights chief sparks fury by demanding UK waters down vital counter-terrorism laws”, published on 21 April 2016.
It included a quote from an MP saying that “this lecture on human rights by somebody from Africa is staggering. He should clear off back to his own continent to look at some of the grotesque abuses of human rights that take place on a daily basis led by people like Robert Mugabe.”
Kiai said the suggestion he should “clear off back to his own continent” was a pejorative reference to his race.
The Sun said the MP was making the point that many African countries have terrible human rights records, especially compared to the UK.
IPSO ruled that there was no breach of the Editors’ Code.
Clause 12 of the Editors’ Code states: “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s, race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
“Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.”