NGOs from Serbia and Kosovo against Vulin`s language towards Albanians

NGOs noted that hate speech undermines the spread of European values ​​in society, as well as the rule of law and the functioning of a democratic and tolerant society.

A group of non-governmental organizations and individuals from Belgrade and Kosovo condemned today the hate speech of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, used against Albanians.

They protested because he continues to use the derogatory word "Shiptar”  when referring to Albanians, instead of using the word "Albanian".

In a joint statement, they called on the Serbian government and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to react and condemn the use of hate speech and oppose the use of such a term for Albanians.

They stated that Vulin used this word on several occasions on May 20, when referring to  Albanians and that his statement to the media was published on the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"In 2018, the Serbian judiciary found that the word 'Shiptar' was offensive and is marked as hate speech. Despite this, Minister Vulin actively and consistently uses this word when it comes to Albanians and continues to do so, without any consequences for his position in the Government of Serbia", the NGOs said,  concluding that public officials who use the language of hatred, have no place in government and power.

"When senior state officials use hate speech to target a particular ethnic group, it can have devastating consequences because it encourages discrimination, ethnopolitical radicalization and potentially leads to violence."

The statement was signed jointly by Aktiv, Balkan Forum, BPRG, Belgrade Center for Security Policy, Civic Initiative, Center for Peace and Tolerance in Gracanica, Democracy Plus, BFPE Foundation for Responsible Societies, Institute for Territorial Economic Development, Assistant Jelena Loncar, University of Belgrade and the Democratic Institute of Kosovo.

The statement was also signed by the Kosovo Institute of Justice, the Commission of Advocates for Human Rights, New Social Initiatives, the Commission for Human Rights in Bujanoc, activists Rahim Salihi, Valon Arifi, Vjolca Arifi, Zëri i Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Serbia and Kosovo.