Head of Serbia’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority dresses up as a Nazi

The Serbian Coalition for Media Freedom expressed disgust over the photograph of electronic media watchdog chief Olivera Zekic in Nazi uniform and called the authorities to react under the law banning the use of neo-Nazi and Fascist symbols.

Zekic, head of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM), posted a photomontage of herself in the uniform of a Nazi SS general on her Telegram profile and told Radio Free Europe that she did it as a provocation.

“Who is Olivera Zekic provoking by promoting the Nazi uniform – the millions of Holocaust victims,” the coalition said in a press release.

It called for the authorities to immediately implement the law banning neo-Nazi or Fascist events and the use of neo-Nazi and Fascist symbols saying that all system institutions and public figures should react as well or “a horrible message will be sent that there is institutional support to the reaffirmation of Nazi ideas in Serbia and the terrible consequences they have and could still cause”. “There is no greater threat to society than this message,” the Coalition said.

“I did it purely for provocation,” the head of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) told RFE. “You know I like to provoke. I could have put up caricatures by Korax and Petric (both known critics of the Serbian regime) which are much worse. This is a photomontage from Twitter and I put it up,” she said. RFE said that its search did not turn up the picture on X (formerly Twitter). Zekic claimed that the picture was put up several years ago on Twitter.

Serbian historian Branka Prpa said that the picture with Nazi symbols is problematic in every aspect because of Zekic’s position as head of the (REM) which has the final say over the allocation of electronic media frequencies and is supposed to enforce the appropriate laws. Zekic has been fiercely criticized by both the opposition and independent media as well as international organizations including the European Commission for alleged favouritism benefiting pro-regime media. Zekic defended herself in a heated exchange during an opposition protest in front of the REM headquarters by calling criticism of her “pure Fascism”.

Under the law, REM should be an independent body promoting quality and diversity in electronic media and helping protect and develop free thought and expression.

(Danas, 05.12.2023)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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