Brankica Janković, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, acting upon the complaint filed by Regional Info Center, issued an opinion stating that “Srpski telegraf” daily newspaper committed an act of discrimination by publishing articles authored by Bora Đorđević entitled “Dear, don’t be a queer” and “Dear, don’t be a queer, 2” which appeared on May 21st and 28th 2016 respectively.
In these articles, the author propounds ideas and views which violate the prohibition of hate speech against members of LGBT population, by calling them derogatory names such as „fags“, „rectum-lovers“ and „assologists“. In addition, other disturbing and degrading ideas and views are expressed in these articles which offend the dignity of transgender persons. The author of these articles is intentionally sending a message that persons of homosexual orientation are “twisted” and that it is acceptable for others to insult, harass and humiliate them. First, he advised the organizers of the Gay Pride Parade to put football hooligans on their guest list since “they are extremely tolerant of differences” only to step up a notch his insulting rhetoric by saying: “The only thing I truly hate from the bottom of my heart are those sick idiots who would have pederasty introduced to schools, those who would want to adopt kids. They are not fags, they are faggots. I would ship them all off to Islamic countries where their illness is treated and cured by death penalty. Rest assured, I am not being a homophobe, I am just being normal.” Bora Đorđević has thus incited hatred towards members of the LGBT population, in particular bearing in mind the fact that the members of this particular group living in our society face discrimination, threats, violence and other challenges on daily basis.
Taking into consideration the fact that the Law on Public Information and Media stipulates that the editor in chief is ultimately accountable for the content appearing in his/her media outlet, Commissioner Janković issued a recommendation to the editor in chief of “Srpski telegraf” stating that he should issue a public apology to the members of LGBT community. In addition, she recommended that he take all necessary steps so as to prevent any texts and articles containing ideas, information and opinions possibly leading to discrimination, instigating hatred or causing violence against a person or group of persons on the grounds of his/her personal characteristics, from being published in this daily newspaper in the future.
In view of the fact that the editor in chief of “Srpski telegraf” daily newspaper failed to comply with the issued recommendation, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, in keeping with the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, hereby notifies the public thereof.