07 Nov 14
Montenegrin Albanians Sue ‘Informer’ for Hate Speech
Albanian leaders in Montenegro have filed charges against the Belgrade tabloid Informer for its inflammatory articles about the recent controversial Serbia-Albania football match.
Two members of the Montenegrin parliament, Genci Nimanbegu and Nik Djeljosaj, on Wednesday said that they and leaders of ethnic Albanian parties in the country were filing charges of hate speech against Informer’s editor-in-chief, Novak Uskokovic, as well as two journalists over the “insulting articles on Albanians in Montenegro”.
The furore concerns articles that Informer published shortly after the violent and chaotic football match in Belgrade on October 15, which was abandoned after a drone carrying an Albanian flag flew over the pitch, sparking a pitched brawl between the teams and fans.
The front page of the Montenegrin edition of the Belgrade-based paper called the Albanians “shiptari” for one thing – a highly derogatory and offensive term for Albanians.
The same issue reported on a fight among pupils in a Montenegrin-Albanian high school in the capital, Pogorica, connected with the football match.
After condemnation of its reporting style from the Montenegrin public, Informer issued an apology, claiming that it never intended to offend “citizens of Albanian origin who lived for centuries in Montenegro”.
But politicians representing ethnic Albanians – who make up about 5 per cent of the country’s population – said the newspaper had crossed a red line
“It is time the prosecution did something and proposed a court ban on the activity of Informer in Montenegro,” Nimabegu said.
Apart from him and Djeljosaj, charges against the tabloid have been signed by the leaders of all Albanian parties in Montenegro, and by local leaders in Ulcinj, a seaside resort town which has a majority Albanian population.
BIRN was unable to contact Informer’s editors for comment on Thursday.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)