A day after the civic support campaign for the ‘Roma’ bakery, posters appeared in the vicinity of said bakery calling for a new gathering against Mon Gjuraj, scheduled for Sunday, May 5th at 10am in front of the bakery.

The Youth Initiative for Human Rights demands that the Ministry of the Interior protect the citizens on Sunday during this gathering, which represents the continuation of the campaign of persecution and violation of freedom of expression of national and ethnic origin. We also reiterate that the competent prosecutor’s office must respond as soon as possible and prosecute all those who incited, organised and participated in the campaign of intimidation over the owner of the Roma bakery in the past week, which culminated last Saturday with the virtual siege of the bakery and the attempts to stop it from working.

The urgent reaction of the police and the prosecution office must be accompanied by messages of peace and solidarity by the representatives of the executive and other political powers, not by hate speech towards the Albanian community in Serbia. The latest such example is a statement by Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, who called the Albanian people “Shiptars” in his new request for “emergency demarcation” as a solution to the Kosovo issue. After the scandalous statement and the relativisation of violence by Minister Stefanović, Minister Vulin became the champion of offensive statements by commenting on the announcement of a lawsuit by the president of the Albanian National Council, Ragmi Mustafa, as “a compliment for consistency and a persistent fight for truth.”

Let us remind you that in the December 2018 ruling of the Belgrade Court of Appeals in the dispute between Anita Mitić against the defendants, the Insider Team (publishers of “Informer”) and Dragan J. Vučićević, the Serbian term “Shiptar” is considered politically incorrect and offensive to Albanian nationals living in Kosovo and Metohija.

Insulting messages to minorities, hate speech, relativisation of violence, as well as Minister Vulin’s announcement of withdrawing from the European reform path, are encouraging bullies. Contrary to this, the state of Serbia must show determination to end its policy of impunity for abusers who use threats, hate speech and security threats as legitimate political tools. With each subsequent hour and day of adjournment, the state authorities of Serbia, by their failure to act, further threaten the safety of Mon Gjuraj, his family, and the employees of the ‘Roma’ bakery. Accordingly, by stopping the persecution and prosecuting those responsible for the persecution, the state authorities can stop the further escalation of violence.