The Croatian Journalism Association (HND) issued a statement on Wednesday condemning in the strongest terms all forms of hate speech, especially when it comes from the media, adding that “hate speech was present in Marko Juric’s tv show “Markov Trg”, aired at the local z1 television.
HND president Sasa Lekovic said in the statement that “Juric, the author and host of the show, carried by other local networks in Croatia and one in Australia, has for the second time already sent Zagreb residents the following message:
‘The message to residents of Zagreb, to all those taking a stroll in Cvjetni Trg (one of the squares in downtown Zagreb) to be careful given that this is where the (Serb Orthodox) church led by Chetnik vicar is located. Beware when you are walking down Cvjetnik Trg, especially mothers with children because one of those Chetnik vicars could run out of the church and commit a slaughter in Zagreb’s most beautiful square. Maybe ‘Beware of Chetnik’ signs should be put up there.”
The HND said this represented hate speech and provocation which can have consequences on the safety of Zagreb residents and visitors, regardless of their ethnic and religious background.
Lekovic also said that this was not journalism, nor a joke but “an exceptionally irresponsible and worrying public statement.”
“We believe that that media should, at every moment, bear in mind that the line between verbal and real violence is very thin.”
The author of the said tv show, Marko Juric, issued his own statement saying that he wanted to open the topic of the Chetnik behavior in the Serb Orthodox Church, following irrefutable evidence showing top Serb Orthodox Church dignitaries singing Chetnik songs, which had also been released on YouTube.
The Serb National Council (SNV) will hold a news conference on Thursday to address this issue.