Sweden: Elaf Ali’s Remarks on Ukrainian Refugees Incite Outrage and Accusations of Discrimination

On Swedish State Television, during the program “IFS - Invandrare för Svenskar” on the national channel SVT, journalist Elaf Ali made a controversial joke about Ukrainian women who have sought refuge in Sweden. 

Ali quipped,

“They’re blond and blue-eyed, so their presence is hardly noticeable, except maybe in the brothels.”

Source: Visegrád 24

This remark was made in the context of a segment intended for humor.

Elaf Ali’s derogatory comments about Ukrainian refugees, specifically women, on Swedish State Television raise significant legal concerns, potentially violating both European Union directives and a series of international laws and conventions dedicated to the prevention of discrimination and hate speech. These include:
1. European Union Frameworks:
• Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 21, which prohibits discrimination on various grounds including sex, race, and ethnic origin.
• Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which mandates that audiovisual services must not contain incitement to violence or hatred based on race, sex, religion, or nationality.
• Council Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, which criminalizes public incitement to violence or hatred based on race, color, religion, descent, or national or ethnic origin.
2. International Conventions:
• Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 7, advocating for equal protection against discrimination.
• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 19 (freedom of expression) and Article 20 (prohibition of hate speech and incitement to discrimination).
• Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), focusing on eliminating gender-based discrimination.
• International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), obligating the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding among all races.
Ali’s comments risk contravening these critical legal standards set to uphold dignity, equality, and non-discrimination at both European and international levels.




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