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June 25, 2012

19-year old Georgia teen reiterates: Apple employee discriminated

Sahar Sabet, the 19-year old Iranian American teenager at the center of the Apples discrimination controversy, issued a statement through her attorney today to “correct erroneous media and organizational reports” that were claiming Apple did not discriminate against her because they were just following the law.

The evidence suggests that, yes, she was in fact discriminated against and that, yes, broad sanctions encouraged sanctions vigilantism and profiling by retail employees:

“On the date in question, Sabet’s family had relatives visiting from Houston, Texas.  Ms. Sabet decided to take her uncle, aunt, and grandmother with her to the mall that afternoon.  Sabet received assistance from two different Apple employees while finalizing her decision on which specific iPad model to select. Ultimately, she selected an iPad and was preparing to make her purchase.  It was at this time that Sabet’s uncle, a native Farsi speaker, had a question regarding an iPhone that he was considering purchasing for his daughter in Tehran, Iran.  Sabet, a United States citizen and native English speaker, served as a translator.  After asking her uncle’s question to one of the Apple employees that had been assisting her, she translated the answer into Farsi for her uncle’s benefit.
“Then, as Sabet attempted to complete her purchase, another Apple employee, previously unknown to Sabet, approached her and rudely demanded to know what language Sabet and her uncle were speaking.  When Sabet replied that they were speaking Farsi, the Apple employee, with no other basis, denied Sabet the sale and stated that “our countries do not have good relations with each other.”  Sabet’s attempts to escalate the situation to the store’s management were fruitless as the manager on duty simply sided with the employee’s decision to refuse Sabet the sale on account of her ethnicity and national origin.”

The full statement via Sahar’s attorney is below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATE ON CASE OF IRANIAN-AMERICAN TEENAGER DENIED

SERVICE AT APPLE STORE IN ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA 

Sahar Sabet Corrects Erroneous Media and Organizational Reports

June 25, 2012 – Atlanta. Ms. Sahar Sabet, the Iranian-American teenager who was denied service at the Apple Store located inside North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia because of her ethnicity and national origin issued a statement through her attorney, Mr. M. Khurram Baig, to correct numerous erroneous reports that have surfaced in the media over the past week.
In Sabet’s own words, the incident in question occurred on Thursday, June 14th 2012, when she went to the Apple Store located in the North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia to purchase an iPad as a birthday gift for her older sister who lives in North Carolina.  The iPad was not being purchased by Sabet for her cousin who lives in Iran, as has been previously misreported in some media accounts.
On the date in question, Sabet’s family had relatives visiting from Houston, Texas.  Ms. Sabet decided to take her uncle, aunt, and grandmother with her to the mall that afternoon.  Sabet received assistance from two different Apple employees while finalizing her decision on which specific iPad model to select. Ultimately, she selected an iPad and was preparing to make her purchase.  It was at this time that Sabet’s uncle, a native Farsi speaker, had a question regarding an iPhone that he was considering purchasing for his daughter in Tehran, Iran.  Sabet, a United States citizen and native English speaker, served as a translator.  After asking her uncle’s question to one of the Apple employees that had been assisting her, she translated the answer into Farsi for her uncle’s benefit.
Then, as Sabet attempted to complete her purchase, another Apple employee, previously unknown to Sabet, approached her and rudely demanded to know what language Sabet and her uncle were speaking.  When Sabet replied that they were speaking Farsi, the Apple employee, with no other basis, denied Sabet the sale and stated that “our countries do not have good relations with each other.”  Sabet’s attempts to escalate the situation to the store’s management were fruitless as the manager on duty simply sided with the employee’s decision to refuse Sabet the sale on account of her ethnicity and national origin.
“Apple could have done so many things differently in this situation”, said Baig.  “But unfortunately, instead of serving as a retailer, Apple decided to play the role of custom’s enforcement and that is simply not Apple’s role to play.”  Baig went on to add that had Sabet not been speaking Farsi, she likely would not have been singled out on the date question.  “Contrary to erroneous reports that no discrimination took place, Ms. Sabet was treated differently than every other person who walked into that Apple Store on that day. That was not an accident.  It happened because Apple supports a policy that allows Iranian-Americans like Ms. Sabet to be discriminated against and that must change immediately.  Discrimination like this is an affront to everything we believe in as Americans.”
For comments or to schedule an interview, contact attorney M. Khurram Baig via telephone at (678) 534-2529 or via e-mail at [email protected]
 

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