No. 68-21



The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint of the association AA, filed against the media BB, due to discrimination on the grounds of nationality. The complaint was filed because of the text published on the media website on January 25, 2021, entitled: “Here is where a suspected boy (15) raped a girl (10)!”. The horror on Ada Huja shook the whole of Serbia! “The complaint states, among other things, that the discriminatory treatment is contained in the article in question, in the section” Chronicle “, in which it is stated: A Roma woman was attacked by two underage girls, from whom they took a mobile phone and bluetooth  speakers. The editor-in-chief, as well as the editor of the newsroom, did not respond to the allegations in the complaint until the end of the proceedings. The Commissioner determined that in the content of the text, which states: “Yesterday around 6 pm, three members of the Roma nationality and one Roma woman attacked two underage girls, from whom they took a mobile phone and bluetooth speakers”, the nationality of the (juvenile) suspects was emphasized for this offense. In this regard, the Commissioner pointed out that in this particular case, the nationality of the suspects in this crime has nothing to do with the crime, nor does the publication of this information contribute to a better understanding of the event, which is why there was no reason to state it. The Commissioner pointed out that she fully supports the freedom of the media and their duty to report to the public on all events that the public has the right to know, that is to provide information and decide on the titles and contents of their texts in the spirit of their editorial policy. However, this freedom is not unlimited, but must be within the framework of the Constitution and the law. By emphasizing the nationality of the suspects, in this particular case, attention is focused on members of the national minority, they are labeled as prone to committing crimes, which results in the strengthening of stereotypes and discriminatory treatment of Roma. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gave the opinion that by emphasizing the national affiliation of the suspects in the text, which was published on January 25, 2021, on the website of the media BB, violated the provisions of Art. 12 and 24 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. The Commissioner recommended to the media BB to address the topic of protection and position of the Roma national minority within its program possibilities and editorial policy, as well as not to publish in the future contents that violate the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination.

Brankica Jankovic

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