Praxis Watch

Friday, 25 October 2013

Established Discrimination by the Weekly Regional Newspaper Nase Novine

In a procedure initiated upon a complaint from Praxis and Association of Roma Organizations “Smederevo Forum,” the Commissioner for Protection of Equality established that the weekly regional newspaper “Nase Novine” had hurt the dignity of the members of Roma minority and violated the provisions of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination by publishing an article entitled “A Bite in a ‘Romani’ Way” expressing disturbing and humiliating attitudes and ideas.

Specifically, the article “A Bite in a ‘Romani’ Way,” published in April 2013 at the front page of the regional newspaper “Nase Novine,” deals with the problems the citizens have with attacks by stray dogs and provides information that portray the members of the Roma minority as persons that treat animals with cruelty, kill them and cook their heads, and then inflict physical injuries upon themselves with the aim to unlawfully obtain financial benefit from the Smederevo City Administration.

The Commissioner recommended to the weekly regional newspaper “Nase Novine” to issue a public apology to the Roma national minority with regard to the published information and to invite to a meeting representatives of the Association of Roma Organizations “Smederevo Forum” and Praxis to get directly acquainted with the everyday problems of the Roma community and informed about how the article with such contents had affected the Roma. The Commissioner also recommended to the newspaper “Nase Novine” that they no longer publish articles that hurt the dignity of the members of Roma or any other national minority and feed the prejudices towards national minorities.

Bearing in mind the role of media in forming public opinion, Praxis expresses hope that established discrimination in this case will contribute to raising awareness about prohibited types of behaviour, but also about the importance of reporting in a way that raises awareness about equality of national minorities and influences the change of patterns, customs and practice that cause stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination against Roma national minority.

For more information, see the announcement: Established Discrimination Regarding the Article Published in the Newspaper “Nase Novine”

Download: Interview with Jasmina Mikovic, Praxis Deputy Executive Director, for Radio Beograd 1

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