12 February 1998


Government introduces press laws

Incident details

legal action

(AMARC/IFEX) - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) has
deplored the Yugoslav federal authorities' efforts to control the existence
and operation of illegal radio and TV stations by requiring them to obtain
temporary licences. It is unlikely, according to ANEM, that the
Telecommunications Ministry will issue such licenses to all stations that
apply for one and meet the formal requirements of the open bid. Moreover,
many of these requirements are unclear, such as the cost of licensing, the
requisite technical criteria, the nature of the building license required,
and the sort of approval needed from the power-supply authorities. It also
remains unclear how this regulation would apply in the Republic of
Montenegro, whose media networks have been operating exclusively according
to Republic regulations.

ANEM believes that by instituting such legislation the authorities are
attempting to legalize the closure of those stations unable to meet the
requirements needed to apply for a license. It fears that once the
application deadline has expired, the ministry will resume the process of
closing down stations, a process initiated in the summer of 1997 and
temporarily suspended during the election campaign. ANEM has stated that "it
is obvious the federal authorities do not wish to introduce order in the
domain of telecommunications in keeping with democratic principles. Without
establishing any prior rules, the federal authorities have reserved the
right of absolute and discretionary decision as to who will get the
temporary license and at what fee."

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • urging them to do everything they can to assure that stations which apply
    and meet the requirements are issued temporary licenses without exception
  • calling for new regulations which would permanently regulate broadcasting
    according to democratic principles

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Slobodan Milosevic
    President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    Fax: +381-11-656-862

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
    705, rue Bourget, bureau 100, Montreal
    Qubec, H4C 2M6
    secgen (@) si.amarc.org
    Fax:+1 514 8497129

    IFEX members working in this country 1

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