This month, it was revealed that the preliminary hearing in a discrimination case launched by former Amnesty International employee of 17 years, Aisha Jung, was ruled in her favour. The welcome decision by an Employment Tribunal judge has paved the way for Ms. Jung to continue her disability, Islamophobia, and whistleblowing discrimination claims against Amnesty.  
The remote one-day hearing, which can be viewed in full at this link, found that the claimant, i.e Ms. Jung, is indeed disabled, under Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. Jung has suffered from anxiety and stress since at least May 2021, with Amnesty’s decision to reinstate the alleged neo-Nazi and Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, as a “Prisoner of Conscience” or PoC playing a large part in this diagnosis. 
In the judgment, the court stated,
“The Tribunal finds that the Claimant is a disabled person within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010.” 
Laying the foundations
In the judgment, which was sent to all parties on 28 February, Employment Judge R. Havard refused Amnesty International’s position, and found that Jung’s stress and anxiety legally amounts to a disability.
The ruling is a major success, as it lays the foundations to take the rights organisation to court over a wider claim of Islamophobia and whistleblowing discrimination. In recent years, Amnesty has been dogged by allegations of racism and religious discrimination against numerous members of staff. 
In Jung’s case, judges sitting at the London Central Employment Tribunal began proceedings earlier this week, and the case is listed for 10 days.
My court case against #Amnesty starts: 27/03/23 for 2 weeks, exposing their highest-level support of far-right nationalist #navalny who advocated racist hatred & violence for years without redress. Amnesty's senior leadership will b testifying & trying to defend the indefensible. pic.twitter.com/LFFXmPwqv2— A Jung (@AishinkaA) March 23, 2023
Stripping Navalny of PoC status before reinstatement
One of the fundamental aspects of Jung’s claim against Amnesty is the group’s “inconsistent application” of its policies and procedures.
Indeed, a statement issued by Rahman-Lowe Solicitors argues,
“The case is … of considerable public interest as Ms. Jung is holding Amnesty to account over the inconsistent application of its policies, procedures, and the discriminatory treatment of its BAME and Muslim workforce.
“The right to speak up about equality issues and not be victimised is also at the heart of this case. It is understood that this is the first case of its kind at Amnesty where a person has been designated as a PoC whilst propagating hatred and violence, which is highly controversial and one that appears to be at odds with Amnesty’s mission to condemn racism, and human rights abuses.
“Nelson Mandela, a black civil rights activist, was famously denied the status because of the organisation’s strict policy but Navalny, a white nationalist, was granted the status. It is also noted that Bobby Wine of Uganda, who is also black, was denied the PoC status.” 
The rights group stirred controversy among some quarters when, in February of 2021, it stripped Navalny of PoC status while citing an “internal decision” and ambiguous wording that failed to specify the comments of “hatred” as yet unrenounced by him. 
Three months later, the NGO backtracked and reinstated the PoC status. 
Alexei Navalny compared Chechen Muslims to cockroaches, supports Gun Rights in Russia, endorsed skinhead marches and has an anti-immigrant stand.— Advaid അദ്വൈത് (@Advaidism) February 2, 2021
The Western Press: “Yep, that's our guy. We’ll take em!”
Liberals: "Navalny is our Hero. Give him the Nobel."
“Advocacy of racist violence towards Muslims”
Aisha Jung began working at Amnesty International in March 2005, initially as a Research and Campaign Assistant. She is the sister of influential television broadcaster and presenter, Rahim Jung.
After beginning work at the group in March, she was awarded a permanent contract in July of that year. Jung was promoted to the position of Senior Campaigner in January 2018.
A skilled Russian speaker, she was involved in work pertaining to Belarus and Ukraine. As such, she has argued that her efforts were considerably hampered and her mental health directly impacted by the organisation’s decision to re-award PoC status to Alexei Navalny.
In the judgment’s Findings of Fact, Judge Havard stated that Jung felt unease after fellow colleagues expressed zero sentiment against Amnesty granting PoC status to the Russian opposition leader:
“At the time this decision was taken, the Claimant confirmed that she was the only Muslim working within her team at the Respondent. Having listened carefully to her give evidence, I am satisfied that the Respondent’s decision to reinstate AN’s [Alexei Navalny’s] PoC status had a profound effect upon the Claimant who alleged that the decision was taken by the Respondent, despite what she described as AN’s ‘advocacy of racist violence towards Muslims’.
“Furthermore, the Claimant’s profound disagreement with the Respondent’s decision was not shared by any other member of her team, who either remained silent or indicated that they supported the decision.” 
Moreover, the judge ruled that,
“I find that the Respondent’s decision caused the Claimant to suffer from anxiety, stress, and a sense of isolation; the Claimant maintained that she was unable to return to work as a result of the effect of the Respondent’s decision in respect of AN, and did not return to work prior to her dismissal.” 
As the London Central Employment Tribunal continues its session in relation to the claims of Islamophobia and whistleblowing discrimination, it is possible that a judgment will come in the next month.
It is important that we keep our eye on this case and the outcome, as the significance of the allegations cannot be understated.
While Alexei Navalny is painted as a saint by many in the West and those who oppose Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the same group often neglect to highlight the fact that he has neo-Nazi roots.
Indeed, while more recent interviews indicate that he has moved on from his ultra-nationalist views, he remains strongly anti-migrant in stance. In addition, during a 2007 video, Navalny described as “flies and cockroaches” white bearded Muslim men who were shown in cutaways.