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Ethiopian Airlines denies sexual harassment of trainee

By Chen Xi and Xu Keyue Source:Global Times

Ethiopian Airlines has denied an accusation of sexual harassment by a former female flight attendant trainee of Chinese nationality, the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia told the Global Times on Sunday.

Wang Yijing accused the African company of sexual harassment, physical abuse and illegal detention and uploaded pictures, videos and voice recordings as evidence on the China’s Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo.

An official at the Chinese Embassy told the Global Times on Sunday that the Ethiopian Airlines denied Wang’s accusation of sexual harassment and physical abuse.

“She often went to the headquarters to make trouble. This illegal behavior led to her arrest by the police,” said the embassy official, who requested anonymity.

According to Wang’s posts since December 15, she was invited to be an attendant trainee at the airline through the assistance of the Beijing Foreign Airlines Service Corperation (FASCO) in July and went to Ethiopia the same month with a one-month tourist visa.

In August when the visa expired, Ethiopia Airlines did not renew it as a work visa, but illegally hired her for four more months.

Wang said in her posts that she was sexually assaulted, abused and illegally fired by Ethiopia Airlines and was then detained by the police in Ethiopia for a week before being rescued by the embassy.

According to the embassy, the airline company also defended its decision to fire Wang, saying she had violated company regulations with bad behavior including smoking and drinking during the training program.

Instead of calling the police, Wang insisted to negotiate a private settlement with the company, said the embassy official.

“She requested either the company should pay her compensation for mental suffering or grant her a promotion in the company, which Ethiopian Airlines later refused,” the official told the Global Times.

“The embassy could not determine if it was a sexual harassment case,” said the official.

Wang, Ethiopian Airlines and FASCO did not reply to Global Times as of press time.

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