Three days after this year’s commemoration day, political analyst and psychologist Srdjan Puhalo wrote an article querying the figures used, titled: “Prove that 1,601 children were killed in Sarajevo or stop using that number”.
“The media in Sarajevo know that this number is not based on reliable research, but still transmit inaccurate information without any evidence. I don’t know why they do that, but in any case, it is not correct, professional, or fair,” Puhalo added.
Following the controversial statements, Puhalo was targeted by several insults and threats on Twitter.
Puhalo was also supported by film director Jasmila Žbanić however, who on May 13 on social media urged institutions to publish accurate data on the number of children killed. The director, who was backed by the Director of the Museum of War Childhood, Jasminko Halilović, and political analyst Ivana Marić, said she had since been exposed to “a wave of anger from those who disagree on the important truth”, adding that, “every child killed deserves to know his or her name and to know exactly how he was killed and who killed him!”
In her police report, she stated that some threats were sent from the Facebook profile of Haris Zahiragić, an MP. “Zahiragić put her name and picture in a false context and provoked a mob calling for a lynch with her lies,” she wrote. Another comment about her had read: “Žbanić should be killed as a matter of urgency”.
Fake news on Ukrainian President continues to go viral in Hungary
Following the April 28 episode of misinformation where Ukrainian President Zelensky was falsely accused of using drugs, online violations targeting Zelensky have not slowed in Hungary’s digital environment.
Disinformation campaigns and misleading news about Zelensky are now commonplace in several countries where social media channels linked to Russia and Belarus aim to destabilize digital environments.
Recently, Pro-Russia online operatives falsely claimed that the Ukrainian President had committed suicide in an attempt to undermine the Ukrainian government and deceive the public.
In an opinion poll launched by Statista, in May, about 65 per cent of Hungarian citizens expressed a negative opinion about Zelensky. This could reflect the disinformation campaigns that pro-Fidesz media outlets have started since the conflict began in Ukraine.