Monday, October 9, 2017

Report: No charges for Sudanese diplomat who allegedly groped woman at Bar None

A Sudanese diplomat reportedly groped a woman at Bar None on Third Avenue early Sunday morning, then tried to run from police. However, according to the Daily News, the NYPD had to cut him loose because of his diplomatic status.

Per the News:

The 23-year-old woman told cops that Hassan Salih, 36, pawed her breasts and buttocks about 2:30 a.m. Sunday at Bar None on Third Ave. near 13th St., officials said.

The disgusted woman grabbed a bar security guard to report what happened and they called the police.

The cops arrived and detained Salih as they conducted interviews, and that's when the diplomat tried to make a run for it.

Salih was caught and brought to the 9th Precinct on Fifth Street. Given his diplomatic immunity, though, police released him.

Per the Post:

The website for the Sudanese Mission to the UN lists Salih as a “second officer” — a mid-level position requiring five to 10 years of experience, according to the international group.

In May, he was selected to represent Sudan on a UN committee that oversees non-governmental human rights groups, according to UN Watch.


blue gass said...

maybe we should get id from everyome entering our local bars and ban those that have diplomatic identification since their id means they can break any laws and is really just a get out of jail card.

Anonymous said...

Sudan is a "State Sponsors of Terrorism", according to the State Department. Shouldn't this be considered an act of terrorism?

Anonymous said...

Diplomatic immunity only applies when the diplomat is engaging in activity on behalf of their sovereign in their capacity as an agent of that sovereignty. It has no bearing on a diplomat molesting someone at a bar; he wasn't advancing Sudanese interests by committing sexual assault. Who the hell is telling the nypd that diplomatic immunity is carte blanche to break any law? That's not remotely how it works. Remember the Indian diplomat who was arrested for keeping a house slave?

Anonymous said...

What can we do to help this woman?

Would it help if we all called and emailed the Sudanese mission and demanded they fire this guy?

305 East 47th Street, 4th Floor, New York N.Y. 10017
Phone: +1 212-573-6033
Fax: +1 212-573-6160

Giovanni said...

Perhaps Bar None should Bar Some.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 3:45: Actually, it is how diplomatic immunity works. An accredited diplomat is not subject to prosecution in the host country. The reason diplomatic immunity applies more broadly is to make sure a government does not use trumped up charges against a diplomat as leverage against the diplomat's government, making the diplomat into something of a hostage. When a foreign diplomat commits a crime in the US, the US State Department can request that the diplomat's government lift immunity and allow prosecution. (This happens occasionally. Several years ago, a Georgian diplomat who was driving drunk killed a child, and Georgia allowed the US to prosecute.) Or, the US can eject the diplomat. The Indian diplomat who was arrested for keeping a house slave did not end up in prison in this country. She was able to leave the US and return to India.

Anonymous said...

I am by no means anti-police, but it seems that when they find a possible excuse to do nothing, they take it. I remember the Precinct captain telling a store owner they couldn't remove the illegal street vendor blocking the sidewalk because she was selling hats that said USA (amount hundreds of other items) and so had free speech rights.

Anonymous said...

I do not frequent bars, but if some guy groped me that way, I wouldn't be waiting for security, the NYPD, or to find out if he had "diplomatic immunity"; I'd be doing my best to make sure he ended up in the ER.

Anonymous said...

"He's got diplomatic immunity /
He's got a lethal weapon that nobody sees ... "

Hey 6:53PM, if you really believe what you say is true (and a lot of people would probably agree) then why wouldn't you be anti-police?

I'm by no means anti-pirate but it seems that when they find a possible excuse to steal from me they take it. Waaaa waaaaaaaa.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:34, you didn't really think that Anonymous 3:45 had any idea what they were talking about, did you? And oh by the way, if you have to say you're not anti-police then that's exactly what you are. What a ridiculous statement and post.

Anonymous said...

@6:34 & 1:21

3:45 here - can you direct me to actual statutory authority or case law for what you're claiming? Your example proves my argument: the Indian diplomat was, in fact, arrested, and India was pissed they weren't given a head's up. If you're saying you can arrest, but can't prosecute without waiving immunity, it's possible, but then I believe the assertion of immunity must come with a claim that the alleged wrongdoing was pursuant to state action. So the right thing to do, if you aren't a police precinct known for raping drunk women and then claiming you were simply sweetly singing Bon Jovi to them while your partner miraculously fell asleep on the couch, is to arrest this scumbag and let the prosecutors sort it out. If Sudan wants to take the diplomatic heat, so be it, or they could hang him out to dry, as with your vehicular homicide example.

Anonymous said...

I hate to interrupt the fighting, but if you could put your energy into calling the Sudanese mission and insist this guy be sent packing, that would help ensure no other women have to deal with this creep. The number is: 212-573-6033

2nd Ave Silver Panther said...

Thanks,Giovanni,classic observation of the highest order

Anonymous said...

@3:45 The question is more sophisticated than simple "diplomatic immunity" or personal vs. official conduct.

It was clear to federal prosecutors that the Indian diplomat (using the informal "lower-case d" diplomat here), Devyani Khobragade, held a consular post at the time of the offense, not a true diplomatic post.

Consular officers typically hold more administrative roles, like (ironically in that case!) visa processing, rather than ambassadorial/communications positions. For posts mutually accepted as consular, official acts and personal acts are indeed treated separately, and your personal conduct can still be prosecuted.

If you have a diplomatic post, your immunity is nearly complete, as we'll see in a moment, unless your government completely writes you off. You cannot even be arrested or handcuffed.

The relevant document is here:

The rub(s) are that

- The line between consular and diplomatic can be fuzzy when you're in a capital city (from the standpoint of the mission to the UN, yes, New York is a capital, while DC is the capital for missions to the USA). There can be both diplomatic and consular posts in a capital. In addition, NY hosts both consulates (to the USA) and embassies (to the UN) in the same city. In contrast, if your job location is outside a capital, you're solidly on the consulate side and there isn't much wiggle room.

- Even diplomatic immunity doesn't permanently protect you from indictment for a crime (though the timing matters, as I'll mention more in a moment). And while it protects you from arrest, police are allowed to stop a diplomat in the course of committing a violent crime against another person.

What ended up happening in the Khobragrade case, as you can read at, was India conveniently transferred her from the clearly consular post at Consulate General of India (i.e. to the USA) to the equally clearly diplomatic post at the Indian Mission to the UN after the commission of the alleged crime but before the grand jury was empaneled.

Thus at the time of the grand jury indictment, she wasn't legally allowed to be indicted and that initial indictment was vacated, even though the crime itself would have occurred while she did not have immunity for personal acts. (It was of course also debated that the crime having been visa fraud straddled the line between personal and official acts.)

2 days later, she was indicted for the same acts, since at that point she had returned to India and was -- it's fascinating to follow all the wrinkles -- then considered retroactively a mere foreign national (not diplomat nor consul) at the time of the crime. But that indictment is never going to result in extradition.

Hence as @6:43 notes, the Khobragrade case proves how diplomatic immunity works. It also proves how unfortunately malleable one's status can be over time. I personally find the just-in-time transfer to the embassy disgusting, but them's the breaks.

So back to the case of the Sudanese Second Secretary. Working at the Sudanese Mission to the UN (not the consulate to the US in a non-capital city, as Khobragrade originally was) explains why he was considered a diplomat, and thus immune to arrest even for a reprehensible and personal act. That is, also in this case, how it works! (And clearly it's not the NYPD making this judgment, whatever you think about cops it's not a beat cop turning him loose.)

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. Thanks for your thorough response.