no. 07-00-544/2022-02 date: 21 February 2023.
This opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint of Dr. A. A, filed by proxy, against Association “B” from B due to discrimination on the basis of political conviction. In the complaint and supplement to the complaint, it was stated, among other things, that on May 16, 2022, Dr. A. A. submitted an application for membership in the Association, as well as that the Management Board of the Association made a decision on May 17, 2022, refusing to accept him as a member. The complainant believes that the Association rejected Dr. A. A. because of his critical opinion, which he expressed publicly during the election campaign, as well as his socio-political engagement, which is mostly related to environmental pollution, lithium mining, and the Rio Tinto company. In the statement, it was asserted that the Association is not aware of the political conviction of Dr. A. A. and that they learned about his socio-political engagement through the submitted complaint, as well as that the reason for his rejection as a member of the society was his previous indecent and non-academic behavior and addressing the Association and its members in an insulting and threatening tone, which is an expression of disrespect for individual members and the society in the whole. It was further stated that Dr. A. A., in the electronic letter “Warning and request” that he sent to the president and members of the Association on March 18, 2022, stated, among other things: “For twenty years, the My Namesake Fund has been awarding, in addition to competition awards and commendations, non-competition awards to institutions and individuals for various MERITS. If, as member B, you persist in avoiding professional duty and maintain a haughty tone in the dialogue, the Fund will consider issuing a REMINDER and CONDEMNATION of professional conduct. If that happens, you will be an excellent candidate for this premier role.” During the procedure, the Commissioner also analyzed the allegations from the statement that the critical opinion of A.A., which he expressed publicly, and his political beliefs and socio-political engagement are not the reason for rejection for a member of the Association, which is confirmed by the fact that some members of the Association have the same opinion and socio-political engagement as Dr.A.A. As evidence of his socio-political activities, the complainant also submitted an Appeal to the National Assembly dated February 1, 2022, which Dr.A.A. formulated and signed first. In its statement, the Association indicated that the same Appeal was signed by eight current members of the Association and listed their names. Upon insight into the Appeal to the National Assembly from February 1, 2022, it was determined that the aforementioned members of the Association, as well as Dr.A.A., are signatories of the Appeal. After the procedure, the Commissioner issued the opinion that in the procedure based on the complaint of Dr. A. A. due to the decision of the Management Board of Association “B”, dated May 17, 2022, by which he was rejected as a member, Association “B” did not violate the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY