Not even a week passes without finding in the Serbian media the discriminatory and ultra-nationalist word 'Šiptar', a definition that normally defines the Albanians (in Albanian shqiptar).
Šiptar - an offensive term, through which Serbian journalists and politicians - not just nationalists - want to discourage the Albanians, describing them as an 'inferior race'.
The Šiptari are guilty of everything: the Šiptari plan plans to declare war on Serbia, the Šiptari buy the properties of the Serbs, the Šiptari want to persecute the Serbs of Kosovo; practically every day, the Šiptari, plan something against Serbia.
This rhetoric dominates newspaper headlines such as 'Informer' or 'Kurir', as well as the various para-political sites that dominate the web. Most of these media are under the control of Aleksandar Vuçic, who in the years 90 was Minister of Slobodan Milosevic.
The ruling of the Serbian High Court
Now, the Belgrade High Court has taken a very important decision against using the word 'Šiptar'.
At the beginning of the 2017, the 'Informer' newspaper had heavily accused several activists of the youth human rights initiative: the latter were labeled as fascists and enemies of Serbia, because they had supported the Šiptari, in this case those of Kosovo.
In the verdict of the High Court, among other things, it is specified that the word 'Šiptar' is considered politically incorrect and of offensive content for members of the Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo.
The High Court also specifies that calling a Serbian 'Šiptar' is comparable to labeling someone who fights against Serbian national interests. For this reason, it has punished the 'Informer' newspaper that it will also have to pay for accusing one of the human rights activists.
In fact, 'Informer' will have to pay about 840 euros (100.000 Serbian denarii) for image damage and 595 euros (71.000 Serbian denarii) for legal expenses, to Anit Mitiq, one of the activists criticized by the newspaper. This verdict of the Belgrade High Court is the first in Serbian history that identifies the term 'Šiptar' as offensive and discriminatory.
The article was initially published in the Albanian language on DialogPlus, by Enver Robelli.