No.07-00-147/15-02 Date: 27 July 2015
The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint lodged by R. organisations from B. against the daily paper V.N. in connection with the text entitled “Horror in Smederevo: A girl violated by a Romani man”, published on 17 March 2015 in the print and electronic issue of this daily. In the course of the procedure it was established that the nationality of the suspect in this particular case was not in any way related to the committed act, nor the disclosure of this information contributed to better understanding of the event, which is why there was no reason for the nationality to be mentioned. By emphasising the nationality of the suspect, attention was directed towards members of the national minority, they were labelled as persons prone to committing crimes, which results in consolidating stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes towards Roma people. This is particularly dangerous since it is known that the Roma population in Serbia is often discriminated against in all spheres of social life, and is often exposed to attacks by individuals and organisations that advocate hatred and intolerance towards them. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued the opinion that by emphasising the nationality of the suspect in the title and the text “A girl violated by a Romani man” which was published in the print and electronic issue of the daily paper V.N. dated 17 March 2015, disturbing and humiliating ideas and views were expressed that violate the dignity of members of the Roma national minority, which constitutes a violation of the provisions of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. For this reason the daily paper V.N. was recommended not to publish articles in the future encouraging prejudice towards national minorities, to contribute through their texts to the changing of patterns, customs and practices which are breeding grounds for stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards the Roma national minority, and to ensure that it does not violate anti-discrimination legal provisions in the course of its regular affairs and activities.
|COMMISSIONER FOR THE
PROTECTION OF EQUALITY