Rapper Condemned After Harassing Public Health Chief Over Mask Rules (Video)

By , 25 Nov 2020, 12:19 PM Politics
Rapper Condemned After Harassing Public Health Chief Over Mask Rules (Video) Facebook

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STA, 24 November 2020 - The director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) Milan Krek was harassed by the rapper Zlatan Čordić - Zlatko, a prominent anti-masker, and another man on the street on Monday, drawing condemnation both from the NIJZ and the medical profession.

The event "constitutes an attack on an independent, professional public health institution, which is unprecedented," the NIJZ said in a written statement on Tuesday. It said Zlatko and the other man had communicated with Krek in an unacceptable and violent way.

"It is outrageous that something like this happens in a democratic country such as Slovenia," Krek said in a separate statement, adding that many had stopped him on the street before to ask him about the epidemic "but we always had a cultured dialogue, without traces of violence and notwithstanding our opinions, views and positions."

The statement came after Zlatko published a video on Facebook heckling and taunting Krek for several minutes while walking in a street alongside him in Ljubljana. He has since apologised and said it was not his intention to insult Krek in any way.

The incident also drew criticism from the Medical Chamber, which said it rejected "any intolerant communication and actions against health workers".

The head of the government's coronavirus task force, infectologist Bojana Beović, said Krek had dedicated his life to containing the epidemic and under his watch the NIJZ had made strides that had previously been unimaginable. "And then this is the thanks ... I'm at a loss for words."

The Slovenian Journalists' Association said, in reference to Zlatko saying that he was not a very good journalist, that anyone who is not a journalist posing as one was "inappropriate, unethical and damages the reporting profession".

Ljubljana police said they had been informed about the event and were gathering information concerning illegal video recording. They have also initiated proceedings to fine the offenders for breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Zlatko has been a prominent opponent of the mask mandate and recently triggered uproar when he snatched a camera from a Nova24TV crew member at a protest in front of Parliament House.

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