The Albanian MP in the Serbian Parliament, Shaip Kamberi, addressed the Assembly for the first time in Albanian language, following the decision of a court in Belgrade in favor of the internal minister who used the offensive term “shiptari” for Albanians.
On Monday, Kamberi announced that the Supreme Court in Belgrade refused to find Minister of Internal Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin guilty of discrimination, insult and hate speech against Albanians.
He added that a decision of the Court of Appeals in 2018 had sanctioned the use of this term as hate speech.
“So, one day Aleksandar Vulin woke up and decided who I am and how my nationality is defined, and this has been legalized by the state court! Same as in Germany in the late 1930s, when Minister Hermann Goering decided who the Jews were and how they were described, and then the Gestapo courts legalized it,” Kamberi said during his speech.
Kamberi added that by declaring the lawsuit of the Albanian National Council as unfounded, the Court has already given legal force to the institutionalization of hate speech, intolerance and xenophobia against Albanians in general, and those in Serbia in particular.
“Mrs. [Angela] Merkel, Mr. [Emmanuel] Macron, Mr. [Josep] Borrel, Mr. [Miroslav] Lajcak, Mrs. [Ursula] Von der Leyen, is this your pro-European Serbia?,” he asked the European leaders.
Kamberi pointed out that such thing did not happen even during the regime of Slobodan Milosevic “who killed, raped and expelled Albanians calling them Albanac,” he said.
Kamberi was interrupted by the speaker of Parliament, Ivica Dacic. However, he continued reading his speech in Albanian.
Kamberi called the decision of this court a dangerous precedent. According to him, it creates a legitimate standard for hate speech against minorities not only in Serbia, but also in the Western Balkans.
Vulin continuously used the pejorative term towards Albanians.
While in the office of Minister of Defense, Vulin issued an official statement on October, 2020 in which he refers to Kosovo Albanians as “Shiptari” which is used as an insult by Serbians against Albanians. The correct Serbian term for Albanians is “Albanac”.
Albanians call their selves Shqiptar, which basically means Albanian. But Serbs use the slightly tweaked “Shiptar” in a derogatory way when talking about Albanians.