Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anti-Semitic paroles in Serbia

Call to boycot B92 Radio and Television
Placards with a call to boycott B92 Radio and Television and the graffiti on the Jewish cemetery dawned this morning in Belgrade. Over the night, hate graffiti were painted at the entrance of teh offices of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and the Humanitarian Law Centre.

The Helsinki Committee reminds that the night before (Monday, March 21), petition signing was organized for the “Stop the Conspiracy of Silence” campaign against the rising anti-Semitism, started by eight NGOs. The graffiti “Sonja Biserko – Pawn of the Jews – Humble servant of the Jewish new world order”, “Serbia to the Serbs”, as well as a sign that integrates the David’s Star and the logo of B92 Radio appeared at the entrance of the Helsinki Committee offices.

At the entrance of the Jewish cemetery in Belgrade, signs we left with the messages “Resist the Zionist occupation of October 5” (n.b. the day of the anti-Milosevic revolution); “B92 – Jewish Television”; “Jewish parasites, get out of Serbia”; “We want freedom, not Jewish yoke”, “Serbia to the Serbs”...

In its reaction to this anti-Semitic graffiti, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights appealed to the authorities to immediately eliminate the racist slogans. Also, a request was issued to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights to ban the work of the “Nacionalni Stroj” (National Formation) organisation and delete it from the Registry of citizens’ associations, as well as the other organizations that promote and spread racial, religious and national hatred.

"B92 is the only media in Serbia that supports and promotes the presentation of facts about our recent past and creates the conditions for social changes. The authorities in Serbia, through their inaction, open the space for racist, anti-Semitic and nationalist movements to spread hatred and intolerance unempeded. The authorities justify the existence of such movements invoking “pluralism and democracy”. If this latest incident remains unsanctioned like the previous similar incidents, it would mean that the authorities don’t mind homophobia, racism and violations of media freedoms”, states the press release of this NGO.

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