Number: 514-02/11 Date: Sarajevo, 11.11.2011
Urgent Complaints Commission
of the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the citizen’s complaint reaches the
about the article “The Magistrate of Gayness Promoted in Sarajevo: 44 Debauchery Experts” published in the magazine “Saff” on 28.10.2011
Drastic breach of ethical-professional standards
Breach of Article 1, paragraph 3 – General Provisions, Decency Breach of Article 1, paragraph 4 – General Provisions, Respect for Human Rights
Breach of Article 3, paragraph 1 - Incitement
Breach of Article 4 – Discrimination
Breach of Article 4 a – Gender Equality and Respect of Individuality
of the Press Code of B&H
Through breach of Article 1, paragraph 3, General Provisions, Decency, the duty which obliges the media to “follow the generally accepted social standards of decency and respect of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of B&H” was breached.
Through breach of Article 1, paragraph 4 – General Provisions, Respect for Human Rights, the professional responsibility which obliges journalists to “follow human rights standards defined by international and Bosnia and Herzegovinian Acts on human rights”, was breached.
Through breach of Article 3, paragraph 1 – Incitement, the duty according to which journalists, “in every occasion,” need to be aware “of the danger that arises when media intentionally or involuntarily call for discrimination and intolerance”, was breached.
Through breach of Article 4 - Discrimination, which foresees that “newspapers and periodical publications must avoid allusions to someone’s ethnic group, nationality, race religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental disabilities”, an editorial mistake of discriminating persons because of their sexual orientation was made.
Through breach of Article 4 a, Gender Equality and Respect of Individuality, a professional error of discriminating persons because of their sexual orientation and respecting personal
freedoms of individuals and individuality, was made.
The Press Council in B&H received written complaints from Mr. Bruno Lovric, Ms. Emina Becic, Mr. Mirza Doe, as well as numerous telephone reactions of citizens and the academic community from B&H regarding the article “The Magistrate of Gayness Promoted in Sarajevo: 44 Debauchery Experts” published on 28.10.2011 in the magazine “Saff”.
The complaints regarded magazine Saff’s way of informing about the promotion of Master Graduates from the Center of Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies of the University of Sarajevo. In the article, amongst other things, is published that “…the promotion of 44 Masters from the second generation of the program Gender Studies (study program which deals with history of gayness and supports same-sex marriages and the adoption of children by gays and lesbians… Thus, in Sarajevo, 44 gayness experts acquired the vocation of Master, so we can only imagine how many more graduated gays, which will become the army for the rearrangement of our natural order and tradition, will these 44 produce.”
In the citizen’s complaints, stated is that this manner of reporting is “inciting” and that it “promotes intolerance and homophobia.” Also, it “twists the term gender studies and insults students who have, after many years of hard work, acquired the vocation of Master.”
We also point out that his article “calls for hate and violence, not only towards homosexuals, but towards reputable educational institutions, as is the University of Sarajevo.”
To the enquiry of the Press Council about the content of the article and the complaints of citizens, the editor of the magazine “Saff”, Mr. Semir Imamovic, has, amongst other things stated: “Not with one word did we call for violence against anyone, not even against the University in Sarajevo, nor did we spread hatred towards homosexuals. We have only, in a journalistically accepted tongue, expressed our opinion about one of the sides of Gender Studies. Of course it is true that in Gender Studies homosexuality is studied… Homosexuality as a gender and a sexual identity is studied in Gender Studies, in the sense that such a gender identity needs to be promoted as gender equality inside of the communities… That is why we, using our journalistically accepted language, expressed our opinion that Gender Studies Masters are gayness experts.”
The Urgent Complaints Commission of the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina has considered the complaints of citizens and the reply of editor Imamovic and concluded that in statements from the article and in qualifications “44 Debauchery Masters”, “Masters of gayness”, “gayness experts” and “graduated gays”, the Press Code of B&H was drastically breached, Article 1, paragraph 3 – General Provisions, Decency, Article 1, paragraph 4 – General provisions, Respect for Human Rights, Article 3, paragraph 1 – Incitement, Article 4 – Discrimination, Article 4 a – Gender Equality and Respect of Individuality.
Members of the Urgent Complaints Commission: Chairman, Prof. PhD Miodrag Zivanovic; attorney Drazen Zubak; Prof. PhD. Nada Ler-Sofronic , judge Nada Arsenic, and journalist Faruk Boric.
Chairman of the Urgent Complaints Commission
Prof. PhD. Miodrag Zivanovic
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