Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM: SEEMO Condemns Hate Speech in the Republic of Macedonia/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) FYROM, 22/03/2012

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns all forms of hate speech and expresses concerns over the recent reappearance of ethnic labelling in the Republic of Macedonia/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 Following a series of incidents at the beginning of March 2102, involving the local Macedonian and Albanian populations, media in both languages insisted on pointing out the ethnic background of the aggressors when describing the incidents. According to some observers, the situation got out of control.

SEEMO supports the 10 March 2012 statement of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM), which appeals to journalists for greater responsibility in their reporting and reminds them that “journalists shall not use hate speech and shall not incite violence and discrimination on any grounds: national, religious, racial, gender, political…”

“SEEMO is an organisation that protects press freedom and journalists. Yet I also remind all journalists that they have to follow professional standards of reporting and be aware of their responsibilities. Inciting ethnic conflict goes against any code of ethics. Media have had a very negative role in inciting ethnic hatred in the former Yugoslavia and we have to be very vigilant and react to the first signs of hate speech,” declared SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.

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