23 October 1998


Journalist summoned for questioning; newspaper charged; independent media protest new information law

Incident details

Slavko Curuvija



(AMARC/IFEX) - The following is a 23 October 1998 statement by the
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) distributed in its
entirety by AMARC:

**Updates IFEX alerts of 21 and 20 October 1998**
On 23 October 1998, Slavko Curuvija, owner and chief editor of the magazine
"Evropljanin" (European), was summoned to a hearing at the Court of Law for
Offences, further to legal charges filed against him by the Belgrade
Patriotic Alliance, under the pretense that several articles and
illustrations in the last issue of "Evropljanin" violated Article 67 of new
Information Act., such as comments to the effect that the patriotic feelings
of the Belgrade Patriotic Alliance had been hurt and an apparent call for
the destruction of constitutional order in the country. Charges from the
Patriotic Alliance were received by the court at 7:45 a.m. (local time), and
a summons was delivered two hours later.

Fines in Article 67 of the Law on Public Information are 400 to 800 thousand
dinars for founders and publishers (approx. $37,000 to $74,000 US dollars)
and 100 to 400 thousand dinars (approx. $9,300 to $37,000 US dollars) for
editors and other employees in positions of responsibility. "Evropljanin"
has been charged with several misdemeanors, and if convicted, will face a
fine of 100,000 US dollars at the very least. Should this occur, the
magazine will no longer be able to publish, since it has the same owner as
the banned daily "Dnevni Telegraf" (DT), a newspaper with a very large

Editors-in-chief of independent media have called on all their local and
international colleagues to be outside the premises of the court on
Masarikova St. in Belgrade on 23 October at 3 p.m. (local time), when a
verbal examination has been scheduled by the court for Curuvija and three
other chief editors of "Evropljanin". A news conference of "Evropljanin" and
DT is announced for 2 p.m. (local time) at the Media Center in Belgrade.
Curuvija will be a guest on Radio B92, live on 23 October at 12:30 p.m.
(local time). Defence of "Evropljanin" is of utmost importance, as the
regime will keep closing other media beginning the next day.


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