Novi Sad University Professors Rally in Support of Persecuted Colleague | Beta Briefing

Novi Sad University Professors Rally in Support of Persecuted Colleague

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 25.03.24 | access_time 13:11

Dinko Gruhonjic (BETAPHOTO/Milos Miskov)

In response to the accusations and harassment journalist and Novi Sad University School of Philosophy Professor Dinko Gruhonjic has been subject to for over a week, a group his colleagues has called on their co-workers and fellow academics to join a March 27 rally “against the persecution of educators and the protection of academic integrity and independence.”

The organizers of the rally, which is scheduled to begin in front of the School of Philosophy at 11:55 a.m. – a symbolic reference to a Serbian-language idiom that loosely translates to doing something ‘at the very last minute’ – have also invited university students and “every free-thinking citizen who believes in the freedom of speech and democratic values” to attend.

“Over the last few days, we’ve witnessed our colleague, Adjunct Professor Dinko Gruhonjic, being subject to the vilest of threats after the publication of a maliciously edited video of his appearance at last year’s Rebedu Festival in Dubrovnik. This public witch-hunt culminated with the Novi Sad University’s Student Parliament calling for Professor Gruhonjic to be fired, and threatening to otherwise commence a blockade of our Novi Sad School of Philosophy on Thursday March 28,” the rally’s organizers said in a press release.

The statement added that unless the School puts a stop to manipulated public opinion influencing its hiring policies, the seemingly isolated case of Gruhonjic could easily become a dangerous precedent legitimizing cleansing the academia of anyone who challenges the regime. The group of professors behind the rally went on to demand that both the School of Philosophy and University of Novi Sad shield Gruhonjic, who, they say, earned his position through his dedicated work as a teacher and scholar.

The Student Assembly of the School of Philosophy lodged a complaint against Gruhonjic with the School’s Ethics Committee, citing alleged hate speech. Gruhonjic refuted the claims stating that the only source of hate are those continually issuing death threats to him and his family, and who sprayed explicit examples of such threats on the entrance to his apartment building.

Gruhonjic has received support from numerous international organizations, journalists’ associations, from intellectuals from both Serbia and the region, and from a number of Serbia’s opposition parties.

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