9 October 1998


Ban on Radio Index begins retaliation against independent media

Incident details


(AMARC/IFEX) - The following is a 9 October 1998 statement by the
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) distributed in its
entirety by AMARC:

**For background on Radio Index, see IFEX alerts of 3 September and 5 August
ANEM is protesting the illegal actions Radio Television Serbia (RTS) took
against Belgrade's Radio Index on 9 October 1998 which have resulted in a
practical ban of
this independent radio station. The announced clamp-down on media which
allow access to opinions that are different or opposed to the "official"
line has thus begun even before the government's decree introducing war
censorship by the state becomes effective.

Radio Index holds a valid contract with RTS according to which it has the
right to use RTS premises and its transmitter at a fee, until it obtains its
own transmitter and licence.

Despite this arrangement, Radio Index was told it must immediately move out
of the premises it had been using. After Radio Index had moved out, its
signal was taken off the RTS transmitter on 9 October at around 2 a.m..

The order to move out was verbal, without any form or notice, while the
broadcast of Radio Index's signal was discontinued without any justification
or note to the station's management. ANEM believes this to be an instance of
a planned showdown, having nothing to do with the law, nor even with the
intimidating decree by the government which introduced war censorship by the

ANEM warns both the public and the state agencies that the wave of
activities targetting those who think differently, especially the
independent media, journalists, anti-war activists and non-governmental
organisations, is an attempt to conceal the catastrophic results of the
ruling coalition by illegal measures.

ANEM demands that RTS respect its obligations under the contract it has with
Radio Index, and enable Radio Index to resume its broadcasts immediately.
ANEM also demands that the Yugoslav Telecommunications Ministry urgently
allocate a frequency to Radio Index as this station applied in the February
frequency tender with full and valid documentation.


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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