Hate speech in Kaluzhskaya press: not guilty Roma-kotlyary suffered from incompetence of journalists.

On 15 June 2012 in weekly newspaper ‘Narodnaya gazeta – region’(‘NG – Region’) in Obninsk, Kaluzhskaya region, the article ‘Heroin teddy-bear’ about Roma family selling drugs was published. The newspaper illustrated the article by a photo with Roma-kotlyary, living in Tryas village of Zhukovsky region in Kaluzhskaya oblast, on it. This case is a striking example of situation when journalists’ ignorance can cause unfair insults and humiliation to not guilty people.

The same day inhabitants of Tryas village went to local market in Obninsk to make some purchases and became victims of unfair accusations, offences and humiliation from workers of the market, as they had read the article in newspaper and recognized them on the photo.

Inhabitants of kotlyar village Tryas in Kaluzhskaya oblast applied to ADC ‘Memorial’ for help to clear their reputation: ‘It’s very offensive to be called a drug dealer just for nothing!’. On 18 June an employee of ADC ‘Memorial’ together with representatives of Roma village visited the office of newspaper ‘NG – Region’. Editorial board agreed that people on the photo have nothing in common with content of the article and definitely couldn’t be drug dealers (they even gave a special certificate confirming it) but, at the same time, they refused to publish official contradiction of it in next issue. Refusal is connected with denial to make a precedent: editor explained that if they do it then ‘all people will demand to correct information they don’t like’. The reason that real people had suffered from ignorant misuse of photos turned out to be less important for the editor than questionable policy of the newspaper.

ADC ‘Memorial’ demands that newspaper ‘NG – Region’ publishes an official contradiction explaining that people on the photo have nothing in common with content of the article.




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