Serbia's civil sector, media condemn hate speech against N1,Nova S in Parliament

NEWS 03.12.2020 12:59
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Source: RTS

The organisations of Serbia's NGOs, and media representatives condemned on Thursday hates speech against N1 and Nova S journalists by the deputies of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party(SNS) during the Parliament session on Wednesday.

The Civic Initiatives recalled that Biljana Pantic Pilja, an SNS MP, described the two TVs as „anti-Serb,“ which could be described as „foreign mercenaries national traitors.“

„Instead of being an example in conducting open and tolerant discussions about the most important issues, this is yet another example of how the Parliament becomes a training ground for baseless accusations and attacks on independent media, prominent individuals and all those who have a critical view of Serbia’s society,“ GI’s statement read.

It added the lack of the condemnation of hate speech by SNS MPs… „this rhetoric threatens to   become ‘normal,’ making it socially acceptable.“

Targeting media, journalists and other public figures during the Parliament’s sessions that are broadcast live on the state RTS TV, creates a hostile environment which eventually leads to death threats and physical attacks,’ the statement said.

It recalled that in Serbia in 2020, there were 27 cases of physical attacks on journalists, 47 threats, ten attacks on their properties and 83 issues of pressure.

„We call on the Parliament, Prime Minister and parliamentary parties to condemn hate speech by their MPs and to improve the culture of dialogue in the highest legislative institution,“ GI’s statement said.

The statement was signed by Online Media Association, Belgrade Center for Security Policy, Belgrade Center for Human Rights, Bureau for Social Research, Business Info Group, CANVAS, Center for European Policies, Center for Practical Policy, Center for the Rule of Law, European Movement in Serbia, Humanitarian Fund law, Civic Initiatives, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights, KRIK, National Coalition for Decentralization, Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia, Protekta and Vojvodina Civic Center.

Also on Thursday, some opposition parties denounced the hate speech against N1 and Nova S TVs, as didi the Association of Serbia’s Journalists (UNS) did on Wednesday.