Roma party, Romanian NGOs demand charges against ex-Serbia’s paramilitary

Dragoslav Bokan
printscreen/TV Pink

Serbia's Roma Party said on Wednesday it submitted to the Public Prosecutors' Office criminal charges against Dragoslav Bokan, former Serbia's paramilitary from the 1990s wars in ex-Yugoslavia, for hate speech against Marinika Tepic, an opposition leader of the Romanian roots.

„First of all, we expect the prosecution to do its job and not ignore this report,“ Roma Party President Srdjan Sajin said, adding that the prosecution’s efficiency in such a situation was critical given the moment Serbia’s entire society was.

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At the same time, a group of a dozen Romanian national minority NGOs and eight members of the Romanian National Council asked President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to publicly condemn Bokan’s statement to the pro-regime Pink TV in which he accused them of being enemies of the state.

Also on Wednesday, the Belgarde Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) said it filed a lawsuit against the pro-regime TV Pink for spreading national hatred in its talk show.

CRTA’s Pavle Dimitrijevic told N1 that the lawsuit said there was a „gross non-reaction of journalists to the obvious Dragoslav Bokan’s hate speech.“

„The journalist never warned Bokan that what he was saying was illegal. This is not only hate speech but hate speech in public space, on the TV channel with national frequency, „said Dimitrijevic said.

They also demanded criminal proceedings against Bokan. Tepic said he would sue him as well.

Vucic has condemned Bokan, saying he adored Romanians, but added Tepic was a liar.

The Public Prosecutors’ office has not yet issued any statement, although the Commissioner for Protecting Equality warned Bokan’s words were contrary to all laws in the country.



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