No. 07-00-337/2016-02 Date: 19/10/2016
The Opinion has been issued in the proceeding acting upon the complaint filed by R. Ž. C. B. from B. against the daily newspaper K., regarding discrimination on grounds of nationality and health condition in a text published on 17 June 2016 in the electronic edition of this newspaper. The statement made by the attorney of the executive editor of K.’s internet edition says that the text was taken in full from another newspaper, and that stating the nationality of the individual from the text in question in no way presents an unjustified differentiation between the mentioned individual and other persons, but it offers more precise information about a person suspected to have transmitted infectious diseases to minors. During the proceedings, it was determined that the nationality of the suspect, in this case, is in no way connected to the committed act, nor does the publication of this information contribute to better understanding the events, therefore there was no reason to state the nationality. By emphasizing the nationality of the suspect, the attention is drawn to the members of the national minority, they are labelled as persons prone to committing crimes, which results in strengthening stereotypes and discriminatory relations against Roma. This is particularly dangerous when it is known that the Roma population in Serbia is very often exposed to discrimination in all spheres of social life, and that they are often exposed to attack by individuals and organizations which incite violence and intolerance towards them. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued an opinion that emphasizing the nationality of the suspect, in the text published in the electronic issues of daily newspaper K. on 17 June 2016, expresses ideas and attitudes which are disturbing and humiliating and which insult the dignity of the members of the Roma national minority, which presents a violation of the provision of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. Therefore, the daily newspaper K. is recommended to not publish, i.e. take in the future, texts which support prejudice against national minorities, to contribute with their other texts to changing the patterns, customs and practice which promote stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination against the Roma national minority, and henceforth to pay attention not to violate the regulations on the prohibition of discrimination within their regular work and activities.
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality