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news 17 Jul 13

Hate Speech Against Serbian Journalist Condemned

Several dozen journalists from the Balkans have signed a petition condemning an online article aimed at intimidating a well-known Serbian journalist and human rights activist.

Boris Pavelic
Zagreb

Some 50 journalists from various former Yugoslav countries have signed a petition condemning what they call the hate speech used in an article attacking a journalist from Serbia's northern Vojvodina province.

The article, published on the Serbian web portals koreni.com and intermagazin.com, is entitled "Vojvodina man Nedim Sejdinovic has been lustrating Serbs for years and compares Germany under Hitler to Serbia under [Slobodan] Milosevic".

In it, the author, P Petrovic, denies that Bosnian Serb forces carried out an act of genocide against Bosniaks [Muslims] in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in 1995, and calls Sejdinovic, who was born in Bosnia, an "Islamic thinker" and a "Vojvodina separatist".

The article suggests that Sejdinovic should not think he has the right to walk the streets of his home city of Novi Sad safely.

The article also prompted angry follow-up posts, demanding Sejdinovic's home address.

"We condemn this impudent attack on our colleague. Journalists from the region are united in denouncing unprofessionalism, chauvinism and calls for a lynch," the journalists said in the petition, published on Tuesday at kontrapress.com portal.

Among the journalists signing the petition are the president of the Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists, Dinko Gruhonjić, and the president of the Croatian Journalists Association, Zdenko Duka.

In their statement, they note that Sejdinovic lives in a country, Serbia, "in which three journalists were killed during the last 20 years", adding that none of these cases was solved.

"We won't accept calls for a lynch becoming a normal part of public speech," the journalists added.

Sejdinovic, a journalist, writer and human rights activist from Novi Sad, is cofounder of the Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists and of Citizens' Vojvodina, an NGO.

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