null Message from the Minority Ombudsman on tackling hate speech and scapegoating

As Minority Ombudsman, I am concerned that in recent days, the occurrence of a previous tragic crime has been used repeatedly by some organisations to publish content on various social media platforms that clearly incites hatred against Roma citizens living in our country. The same organisations have also announced a demonstration that could be used to violate the human dignity of members of the Roma community and to create fear in them. 

In the course of my work, I pay particular attention to cases of hate speech and hate crimes, and I am constantly examining ways of curbing such acts. Whenever necessary, it is my duty to draw attention to the fact that the spread and the mainstreaming of racism, xenophobia and hate speech are a fundamental threat to the functioning of our society, and that it is therefore the duty of all of us to take action against exclusionary, stigmatising and degrading behaviour.

We need to learn from the painful experiences of history and recognise the dangerous processes that are triggering irreversible reactions in our society. The emergence of racially-motivated physical atrocities is usually preceded by a decline in the level of social sensitivity to hate speech. It is therefore the responsibility of all of us to speak out about vulnerable groups who are surrounded prejudices and to issue a warning signal when these groups are used as scapegoats. 

Therefore, while respecting freedom of expression, I would like to stress that demonstrations and various community actions must always be carried out in a way that does not violate the human dignity or sensitivity of others. Any manifestations that are detrimental to social peace and coexistence and that are likely to stigmatise, humiliate and intimidate members of an already vulnerable nationality or minority group are unacceptable. 

In the light of the above, I am following events in this case closely and, within the limits of my powers and in cooperation with my professional partners, I will take the necessary measures.