6 October 1998

Alert

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister reiterates his threats to independent media


Incident details

harassed


(AMARC/IFEX) - The following is a 6 October 1998 statement by the
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), distributed in its
entirety by AMARC:




**Updates IFEX alerts of 5 and 3 October, and 30 and 29 October 1998**
In the "Interview of the Day" show by Radio B92, leader of the Serbian
Radical Party and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj today [6
October] reiterated his threats with repercussions for journalists who
work as correspondents of the international media and for local broadcast
media outlets which carry news programs by foreign media.


Seselj interpreted yesterday's note [of 5 October] sent by Serbian
Information Minister Aleksandar Vucic as an official warning which might
very soon be followed by an official decree of the Serbian Government
that would include sanctions for those who breached the decree's ban on
rebroadcasts of news shows by foreign media.


Although Vucic's note had qualified the rebroadcasts of the foreign
programming as "a direct attack on the constitutional system and legal
order of the country, as well as a conscious involvement in espionage
activities against your own people," and threatened "adequate punishment"
and legal sanctions, Seselj's list today included closures, seizures of
equipment and possibly criminal procedures against individuals. He
nevertheless strongly advised that broadcast media take this warning
seriously, because the "Serbian Government shall prevent any attempt to
undermine our [Serbia's] defense power" by rebroadcasts of "foreign
psychological propaganda."


He warned that not only would broadcast media be forbidden to carry
foreign news programs, but their editors would be summoned for briefings
in the Serbian Government and the Information Ministry where they will be
instructed as to the content of their stations' programming.


He insisted that "journalists taking money from the American, German,
British and French media" were "spies helping these countries' anti-Serb
efforts," and added that the criterion for foreign support to local media
was these media's anti-Serb position. He named Radio B92 as one that
qualified as "anti-Serb."





Source

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Serbia

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