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YIHR: Organized online attacks on Von Cramon’s advisor should not be tolerated

Đorđe Bojović; Photo: KAS

After Politico published an article by an unknown author claiming that members of the European Parliament, including Viola von Cramon, met with Novica Antić, whom Politico alleges, from unnamed sources, to be a Russian spy, users of social media platform X, mainly from Kosovo, launched an organized negative campaign against Đorđe Bojović, the adviser of the rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon.

“For those who wonder why Viola is often so out of touch when it comes to Kosovo. Did you know that her main parliamentary assistant, a Serb, is the one who organizes her meetings with Russian spies, her trips to Mitrovica, where she meets with Serbian criminals” – this post from the profile “Kosovo is Dardania” marked the beginning of attacks against Bojović.

The user “Kosovo is Dardania” also posted a video of a young Serbian expert in EU law speaking at an event, with the description that he “minimizes and attempts to trivialize the Serbian genocide” and does so “to the faces of Kosovo Albanian people”.

 

YIHR: Such attacks should not be tolerated

Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), from Kosovo, Croatia, BiH, Montenegro and Serbia, in light to the misuse of the video created during their exchange program “This is Kosovo” in early 2015, that targets Bojović, stated that no smear campaign can stop the dialogue in the region, adding that such attacks are wrong, damaging and should not be tolerated.

“We deeply believe that young people have the right to ask questions they are interested in, to express their opinions, and to question dominant narratives imposed by the political elites. Their role in dealing with the past is also to build a democratic culture that is inclusive, and allows conversations that respect the victims. Young people who participate in our programs have the right to engage in debates with stakeholders and ask questions”, YIHR stated.

Many representatives of civil society organizations from Kosovo and Serbian have condemned the organized attacks on Bojović.

Former Foreign Minister of Kosovo Petrit Selimi wrote on X that behind these attacks on Bojović were “organized farms of trolls supporting the ruling party in Kosovo”.

“I’m also disturbed when I see government-directed trolls attacking personally friends of Kosovo like Viola von Cramon and her staff, Quint ambassadors and diplomats, (some of whom like Hovenier have been helping Kosovo since Ahtisari or even Rambouillet times), Ali Ahmeti, Edi Rama, etc)”, Selimi wrote.

In the meantime, Bojović himself has reacted, also believing that it is an orchestrated campaign of trolls mainly from Kosovo.

On the X platform on Friday, he wrote that a number of posts, mainly from Kosovo, “started a coordinated online campaign stating that I denied the crimes committed in the years ’98-’99 and that I am not suitable to be an advisor to Viola von Cramonit, as a Russian spy/Serbian agent”.

He has included in the post a video where he speaks and says that some mistakes are made when some crimes committed in Kosovo are called genocide because they were not genocide, but war crimes.

According to Bojović, by calling those crimes genocide, the rights of the war victims are denied. “Even war crimes are serious crimes, and it doesn’t have to be genocide to be a serious crime,” he is heard saying in the video.

Bojović wrote that he never denied the crimes committed by Serbian forces. “If the idea was to intimidate or discredit me – I’m sorry, but you failed,” Bojović added.

Bojović wrote that he never denied the crimes committed by Serbian forces. “If the idea was to intimidate or discredit me – I’m sorry, but you failed,” Bojović added.

 

Đorđe Bojović is an Advisor on Foreign Policy, EU enlargement, Western Balkans and Transparency for MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel. He is a lawyer specializing in EU Law, holding master’s degrees from the College of Europe in Bruges and the London School of Economics (LSE). He has worked in the Western Balkans and France on regional cooperation, human rights, Serbia-Kosovo negotiations, and EU integration in the Western Balkans.

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