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Týždeň withdraws controversial video

THE TÝŽDEŇ weekly has withdrawn from its website a video in which Catholic priest Marián Kuffa speaks offensively about homosexuals, just one day after publishing it. The video has already been criticised by several non-governmental organisations and activists who even sent an open letter to Štefan Hríb, editor-in-chief at Týždeň, the oMediach.com website reported.

THE TÝŽDEŇ weekly has withdrawn from its website a video in which Catholic priest Marián Kuffa speaks offensively about homosexuals, just one day after publishing it. The video has already been criticised by several non-governmental organisations and activists who even sent an open letter to Štefan Hríb, editor-in-chief at Týždeň, the oMediach.com website reported.

“Homosexuals are sometimes worse than murderers,” Kuffa said in the video, as quoted by the Sme.sk website. He calls them “mass murderers” and talks about “the genocide of the nation”.

The posting elicited criticism from the public. Blogger Braňo Ondrášik responded to the video, criticising not only Kuffa, but also Týždeň for publishing the video. He wrote that he does not understand how a priest praised for his charity work can say something like this.

Even Hríb criticised the video in an opinion piece published on the web.

In addition, activists from People Against Racism and Initiative Inakosť also decried the video. They published a joint statement claiming that “providing the media space to opinions that incite hatred towards people for their sexual orientation, offend and even express pleasure from the fact that ‘these people will extinguish themselves’ does not meet any [criteria for] news, edifying or informational purposes”.

“Moreover, this kind of rhetoric disqualifies the view from the area of acceptable contributions to the discussion over the status of gays and lesbians,” the statement reads, as quoted by oMediach.com. “Therefore, publishing such content cannot be apologised by respecting the plurality of opinions or the effort of securing balanced media content.”

The video was eventually withdrawn by its author, journalist Eugen Korda.

“I was talking to Eugen Korda and we agreed it is right to withdraw it,” Hríb said, as quoted by Sme.sk.

He added they do not review videos before they are published on the internet. He also said that it was not the public response that persuaded them to withdraw the video, but his and Korda’s own decision.

Source: oMediach.com, Sme.sk

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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