US Embassy in Belgrade on Vulin’s pejorative for Albanians: We know the dangers caused by offensive speech
High Court in Belgrade has rejected as unfounded a lawsuit of the President of
Albanian National Minority Council in Serbia, Ragmi Mustafa, suing Serbian
Minister of Interior, Aleksandar Vulin, for using a pejorative for Albanians. The
decision was interpreted as a legalization of using the derogatory term “Shiptari”
against Albanians. The US Embassy in Belgrade told Gazeta Express that using of
such demeaning names to describe minority groups might cause pain and lingering
Member of Parliament in Serbia, Shaip Kamberi, said that the Court has already institutionalized
the hate speech, intolerance, and xenophobia against Albanians in general, and those
living in Serbia in particular.
Embassy in Belgrade spokesman, James Hagengruber, told Gazeta Express that the
US courts do not say what terms are legal or offensive, adding however, that
use of demeaning names to describe minorities is dangerous. “Freedom of speech
is a foundational value of the United States.
Our Congress does not legislate what types of speech are considered
offensive and our courts do not say what terms are legal or offensive. But we know from our own national experience
about the dangers, pain, and lingering division caused by offensive speech, in
particular, the use of demeaning names to describe minority groups,” The US Embassy
in Belgrade said.
president of the National Council of Albanians in Serbia, Ragmi Mustafa, sued Vulin
after he used the derogatory term “Shpitari” for Albanians. Mustafa wrote
Tuesday that rejection of his lawsuit is legalization of hate speech against
minorities by the Government of Serbia. “The rejection of my lawsuit against A.
Vulin as unfounded by the High Court, regarding the use of the pejorative term
“siptari” is the legalization of hate speech against minorities by
the government of Serbia. EU and USA officials, as well regional politicians
should react,” Mustafa wrote. Also Albanian MP addressing Serbian parliament on
Tuesday said the decision of the Belgrade’s Court on legalisation of the term “Shpitari”
should be condemned and called on reaction of international community.
decision of Serbia’s court was condemned also by Kosovo politicians. Kosovo’s
acting president, Vjosa Osmani, said that the decision should be an eye-opener
for all who hoped for Serbia to do better. “State-sponsored Serbian hatred
towards our people has been prevalent throughout our history. Today’s court
decision to endorse racism against Albanians is another stain on their
government’s abysmal record. This should be an eye-opener for all who hoped for
Serbia to do better,” Osmani wrote on Twitter. /GazetaExpress/