381-18 MP complaint DSZ against MB due to discrimination based on sexual orientation in the area of public information, media-1

This opinion was brought in the process following the complaint of association “D.S.Z.” filed against the editor-in-chief “M.T.: I. and Z.”, M.B. The complaint was filed in connection with the article “Where is this world going?”, published on 3rd of May 2018 in the electronic edition of this magazine. The complaint inter alia contains allegations that the article in question spread prejudices against persons of a sexual orientation which is different from heterosexual, representing them as a minority which rules the majority of population, and that it was stated in the article that “a resistance should be given to a horrible dance of death, raging of Sodom and Gomorrah, pederasty, gay marriages, aggressive transsexual propaganda and paedophilia“. In the response to the complaint, it was said inter alia that the provision of Article 10 of European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms proscribes that anyone has the right to freedom of expression. It was emphasized that the freedom of personal opinion represents a condition for other freedoms guaranteed by the Article 10 of the Convention and that this right is almost absolutely protected in the sense that a possible limitations given in paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms cannot be applied to it, and that current practice of the European Court for Human Rights clearly stated that as regards to the freedom of personal opinion, any limitations are not in accordance with the nature of a democratic society. The Commissioner for Protection of Equality has carried out a procedure in which she considered the allegations from the complaint and response, the content of the article “Where is this world going?” published in “M.T.: I. and Z.”, the messages sent by this article, as well as the practice of the European Court for Human Rights. During the analysis of ideas and views from this article, the Commissioner considered the importance of the freedom of expression, on one side, but also a prohibition of harassment and humiliating acting proscribed by the provision of the Article 12 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, on the other side. When rendering this Opinion, the Commissioner took into account the provision of the Article 48 paragraph 3 of the Law on Public Information and Media which proscribes that an editor-in-chief of a particular edition, column, or a program content, shall be responsible for a content which he/she edits, as well as the Article 75 of the mentioned Law which proscribes prohibition of publishing ideas, information and opinions that incite discrimination, hate or violence against a person or group of people because of their affiliation to a specific race, religion, nation, ethnic group, gender, because of their sexual orientation or other personal property, regardless of the fact whether such as publishing a criminal act. The Commissioner has given her opinion that the ideas and views from the article “Where is this world going? “, published in the electronic issue of “M.T.: I. and Z.” from 3rd of May 2018 violated the provisions of Article 12 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Therefore, it was recommended to the editor-in-chief of “M.T.: Truths and Misconceptions” to publish in “M.T.: I. and Z.” an apology to the members of LGBT population within 15 days from the date of receipt of this opinion with recommendation, and for future reference, not to publish articles which create fear or hostile, humiliating or insulting environment for the members of LGBT population.




Brankica Janković
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