Escape club guilty of Romanian discrimination

Banksy
. The Banksy at the Rijksmuseum. A man waves the Syrian flag. Image courtesy of Sharon Hesp

The Board for Human Rights has determined that the Amsterdam club Escape discriminates at the door. 

A Romanian man started a case after the doorman refused him entry to the club, het Parool reports.

The man, who is from Romania and visiting his sister, wanted to go to the club on the Rembrandtplein in August 2013. After he showed his Romanian passport, the doorman refused him entry. "Not this Romanian guy" the bouncer said.

Only after the manager got involved, and because the man's friends knew the DJ, he was finally allowed in. The Romanian has started a case at the Board for Human Rights.

The Board determined on Thursday that Escape refused the Romanian on the basis of his nationality. This is discrimination, and illegal.

According to Escape, the doorman thought he recognized the man from photos of Romanian criminals, which was given to doormen of the disco the week before by police. The club added as defense that Escape is located in an area with a lot of pick-pocketing activity. Long lines in front of the door means that bouncers have to make quick decisions, the disco tells to the Board.

According to the Board, Escape doesn't give enough evidence against their discrimination based on race and nationality. That the man was later let in by the manager, also does nothing against the fact of discrimination by the doorman, the Board states.

Wim Tijsseling, the lawyer of Escape, finds the Board's ruling disappointing. "The difficulty in this case is the comment 'Not this Romanian guy.' If the doorman had said 'This blond guy or this man with the mustache can't come in', the situation may have been different."

The lawyer will advise Escape to tell refused customers directly why they can't come into the club in the future "in as far as this is not already being done at Escape", Tijsseling said.

A café in Rotterdam also discriminates at the door, according to the Board. At the NRC Café, four Moroccan boys were not allowed in because they didn't match the client profile of the business.

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