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news 31 Mar 14

Serbian Authorities Investigate Extremists’ ‘Traitors’ List’

The Serbian prosecutor’s office has launched preliminary proceedings against the far-right movement SNP Nasi for publishing a blacklist of public figures it said are anti-Serb “traitors”.

Beta, B92
Belgrade

The special prosecution for high-tech crime said on Monday that it would investigate after extremist movement SNP Nasi published a list of 30 actors, directors, writers, political analysts and journalists who it described as “traitors” and “the greatest haters of the Serb people”.

Prosecutors said that charges of undermining personal safety and racial and other discrimination would be considered.

“The prosecutor's office has requested from the high-tech crime unit of the Serbian interior ministry that information be gathered and actions taken toward uncovering criminal acts and locating the suspects," the office’s statement said.

The blacklist, which was published on the internet, included actors Mirjana Karanovic and Nikola Djuricko, journalists Svetlana Lukic and Petar Lukovic, writer Svetislav Basara and popular folk singer Jelena Karleusa.

After its publication sparked angry reactions, SNP Nasi wrote to the Russian ambassador to Belgrade, Alexander Chepurin, informing him that "a shameless campaign" was being conducted against the right-wing movement.

Milan Antonijevic, head of NGO Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, YUCOM, said that he expected the Russian ambassador to react critically.  

"I would expect the Russian embassy to distance itself from the list as I believe it crossed any threshold of what should be tolerated in a democratic society," Antonijevic told TV B92 on Monday.

The Russian embassy has however remained silent on the issue.

Serbia's National Committee for the Fight Against Hate Speech has condemned what it called the misuse of the internet to spread hatred and calls for violence.

"It is down to us [the internet community] to get together and show that the Serbia in which we want to live in is open to all," its statement said, adding that anyone spreading hatred could become a victim of hate speech tomorrow.

SNP Nasi is known for promoting the idea of a ‘Greater Serbia’ and inciting violence ahead of Gay Pride parades. The group strongly opposes Kosovo’s independence, Serbia’s EU integration process and are instead oriented towards Russia.

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