OSCE on freedom of media and hate speech in Kosovo

Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo Jean-Claude Schlumberger and OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic opened in Pristina on Friday the regional conference on the ways to respond to instances of hate speech without violating the freedom of expression.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Saturday, June 14, 2014

The OSCE one-day conference was attended by over 50 reporters, lawyers, representatives of civil society and institutions from the Western Balkans who discussed legal regulations and experiences from the region in an effort to counter hate speech.According to an OSCE release, they underscored that active participation of the civil society and adequate responses by relevant institutions constitute the key to countering hate speech, including instances of hate speech on the Internet.Hate speech can be harmful to those against whom it is directed because it incites discrimination, violence and other modes of violation of human rights, Schlumberger said.Eradicating hate speech from the public discourse is very important for reconciliation and building trust among different groups and communities, Schlumberger said.Mijatovic noted that only expressions which constitute a direct call for violence can be sanctioned and that any other expressions, regardless of their potential problematic or insulting formulation, should not be subject to prosecution.The conference marks the beginning of the debate on the response to hate speech in Kosovo and exchange of best experiences from the Western Balkan region.