Bulgarian Ombudsman Accuses Sports Daily of Race Discrimination

Society | January 23, 2012, Monday // 15:48|  views

Bulgaria's Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev. Photo by BGNES

The notorious title that emerged on the front page of a Bulgarian sports daily last week is a case of race discrimination, according to Bulgaria's ombudsman Konstantin Penchev.

The Ombudsman has approached the country's Prosecutor's Office demanding an investigation of the case.

The January 18 edition of the Bulgarian "7 Dni Sport" ("7 Days Sport") daily featured a front-page title saying "CSKA's New Players: Italian, Swede and Two Blackies." The title stirred outcry in the media and on Facebook.

"I believe that the word "blacky" in the title cited here is insulting and humiliating and is a form of race discrimination," Penchev has said in an official statement.

"7 Dni Sport" editor-in-chief Yuli Moskov claimed "blackies" was no more than slang, for which he refused to publish an apology note.

According to the Ombudsman, Moskov's behavior in the wake of the scandal was even more deeply concerning than the title itself.

Penchev has pointed out that he does not protest against the use of slang words by the media whenever they seek to grab the attention of the general public by being expressive. However, he believes that the word used in that case is intended to insult and stir up hatred against certain minority or ethnic groups.

The Ombudsman has cited Recommendation № R (97) 20 of the Committee of Ministers to EU's member states that tackles the issue of hate speech.

The Recommendation's Principle 6 says that national law and practice in the area of hate speech should take due account of the role of the media in communicating information and ideas which expose, analyse and explain specific instances of hate speech and the underlying phenomenon in general as well as the right of the public to receive such information and ideas.

The word "chernilki" that is here translated to English as "blackies" is generally considered to be among the most offensive terms used to describe black people in the Bulgarian language.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: hate speech, sports daily, Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, race discrimination, racism


» Related Articles: