ANEM WEEKLY REPORT ON MEDIA REPRESSION IN SERBIA
SEPTEMBER 16 -- SEPTEMBER 22, 2000
STATE TELEVISION CANCELS ROUND TABLE
BELGRADE, September 16 2000 - Radio Television Serbia has cancelled the pre-election programme which was to discuss the current social climate in the country, the reason for the cancellation being the beginning of the Olympic Games, Beta was told by a State television spokesperson today. State television added that the remaining scheduling for the round tables would be respected. One of the Serbian Democratic Opposition leaders Vladan Batic, who was due to participate in the programme assessed that the real reason for the cancellation was the wish to escape from the bleak reality and tragic results experienced by the regime in the field of social policy.
KOSOVO MEDIA PROTEST AGAINST MURDER AND DISAPPEARANCE
KOSOVO, September 16 2000 - Albanian-language dailies did not appear on newsstands in Kosovo yesterday in protest at the recent murder of journalist Sefki Popova and the disappearance of television reporter Marjan Melonashi. Seven papers were not published, and radio stations broadcast only music, Reuters reports.
INDEPENDENT MEDIA JOURNALISTS OBSTRUCTED
KRAGUJEVAC, September 16 2000 - Independent media journalists were barred from reporting from the pre-election regime rally held inside the grounds of the Zastava factory in Kragujevac yesterday at which President Slobodan Milosevic spoke. Only state media, Radio Television Serbia and the Tanjug news agency, were permitted to cover the event. Security guards and the special police prevented all independent media journalists from entering the factory grounds. This has become a common feature of regime party election rallies during this campaign since the meetings attended by Yugoslav Left parliamentary candidate, Milosevic's wife Mira Markovic were also open to state media only.
SERBIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL CONDEMNS ABDUCTION ATTEMPT
KOSOVO, September 18 2000 - The Serbian National Council for Kosovo yesterday sternly condemned Thursday's abduction attempt on Radio Free Europe Kosovo correspondent Bojan Bozovic, Beta reports. The Council believe that Bozovic was attacked because of his reports on the terror carried out by Albanian extremists. Two Albanians tried to push Bozovic into a car on the Pristina - Kosovska Mitrovica highway on Thursday.
OPPOSITION: CUKIC AND MARKOVIC VIOLATING RULES
BELGRADE, September 18 2000 - The Serbian Democratic Opposition yesterday accused director of Radio Yugoslavia Dusan Cukic and editor-in-chief of the pro-government daily Vecernje novosti Ivan Markovic of not acting in accordance with the regulations on conduct during the election process adopted by the supervisory committee. The statement issued by the Serbian Democratic Opposition cited Article 9 of this regulation book which states that "journalists and editors working in the public media who are also candidates cannot participate in the direct editorial work and production of programmes, nor in reporting on the pre-election campaign and elections". The statement pointed out that Cukic was a federal MP candidate for the Socialists and Yugoslav Left coalition, while Markovic was both a federal MP candidate and a candidate for the Belgrade Assembly. The Serbian Democratic Opposition wondered whether it would be possible for the supervisory committee to stick to its own rules at least in these two cases.
STOCKHOLDERS DEFEND VECERNJE NOVOSTI
BELGRADE, September 18 2000 - Stockholders of the Novosti company, the founder of daily Vecernje novosti and several other public media, recently formed a crisis headquarters with the aim of annulling the decision made by the Federal government in March this year which proclaimed Novosti a federal public institution thus stripping them of their stockholder rights Beta reports. The stockholders, who are mainly former and current journalists and other employees in the company, consider the Federal government's decision to be both unconstitutional and illegal because it annulled the privatisation of the company and virtually turned what was a private possession into a state owned one without offering any compensation.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF SOCIALISTS ACCUSES YUGOSLAV ARMY OF INTERFERING
PODGORICA, September 19 2000 - The Democratic Party of Socialists has once again accused the Yugoslav Army of interfering in daily political events in Montenegro, thus opposing the interests of the majority of Montenegrin citizens. In a statement issued yesterday, the party cited the fact that the Commander of the Yugoslav Army's Second Army General Milorad Obradovic had personally given out an order to install studio equipment for the People's Assembly Council television in the Yugoslav Army Club premises in Podgorica. The Democratic Party of Socialists claimed that the People's Assembly Council television offered viewers subversive messages and political propaganda and that its crew was made up of members of Serbian State Security and Counter-Espionage.
OTPOR ACTIVISTS DETAINED IN SUBOTICA
SUBOTICA, September 19 2000 - Seven activists from Otpor, the Alliance of the Vojvodina Hungarians, and the It's Loud, Vojvodina 2000 campaign were released from the police station in Subotica yesterday after being questioned for two and a half hours, Beta reports. The activists were arrested during yesterday's action organised by urbaNS television production house, entitled It's Loud, Vojvodina 2000, which among other things included a rock concert in Subotica.
TELEVISION APOLO ON THE AIR
NOVI SAD, Subotica 19 2000 - Novi Sad Television Apolo, operating as part of the City Information Center, last night began broadcasting programmes via the local cable system in time slots paid for by the City Information Center. TV Apolo's editor-in-chief Vesna Sladojevic told the press that Television Apolo did not have its own equipment and was currently operating thanks to "borrowed resources". The cable system in Novi Sad has about 40,000 subscribers.
ARMY HEADQUARTERS: GLAS COMMENT UNDERMINES ARMY UNITY
BELGRADE, September 20 2000 - Yugoslav Army headquarters yesterday denied claims made in the Glas javnosti article published on Monday under the title "Pavkovic threatens", and accused the daily of undermining Yugoslav Army unity. The article, related to Yugoslav Army chief-of-staff Nebojsa Pavkovic's recent statement that September 24 would be a D-Day and that soldiers should be fighting in the first lines, stated among other things that people in Serbia trusted the Army, but not the army's higher echelons. The Army Headquarters Information Service stated that the serious, intentional and unconfirmed claims about the alleged division between the military echelons and the Army published in Glas were undoubtedly directed at undermining the Army's inner unity, damaging the chain of command, belittling the command cadre and provoking lack of discipline, which in addition to being destructive, was both transparent and naive. The Army's denial states that the latest survey carried out showed that more than 90 per cent of army members trusted the army's higher echelons and more than 80 per cent the state higher echelons. Army Headquarters said the Glas article, written by former Yugoslav Army spokesman Ljubodrag Stojadinovic, contained too many recognisable constructions, intentional confusion of theses, rude insinuations and even basic untruths, describing it as a shameless attempt at devaluating the professional contribution of the chief of staff to the defence of the fatherland from the NATO aggressor.
UZICE RENEWAL MOVEMENT APOLOGISES TO STATE TELEVISION JOURNALIST
UZICE, September 20 2000 - Serbian Renewal Movement's Election Headquarters in Uzice today apologised to the state television journalist who insisted on having lunch in the same room as presidential candidate Vojislav Mihailovic during his visit to Karan. The journalist was offended by a party member who told her she was free to attend the lunch as long as she took a shower first.
KOUCHNER SIGNS CODEX ON MEDIA BEHAVIOUR
PRISTINA, September 20 2000 - UNMIK head Bernard Kouchner signed a temporary document yesterday defining standards for print media in Kosovo, the OSCE announced today. The codex will be in force until January 1, 2001, and is then renewable by UNMIK for ninety day periods. The document sets out the rights and obligations of print media in Kosovo quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to the document, publishers are forbidden to write, print, publish or distribute any material encouraging criminal activities and violence. The document also sets out strict rules concerning allegations about ethnic or religious groups. It bars the publication of personal information and photographs of individuals accused of crimes.
ARMY CONFISCATES CAMERA FROM MONTENEGRIN TELEVISION JOURNALISTS
PODGORICA, September 21 2000 - Military Police yesterday confiscated a camera from a Montenegrin Television crew while it was shooting the convoy of buses full of Socialist People's Party supporters who were going to the party's rally on the road to Berane, Montenegrin television reported on Wednesday night. The Military Police's explanation for the confiscation was the illegal recording of the movements of military vehicle convoys. This information was confirmed by the Second Army's Command, which stated that the equipment had been seized temporarily. The statement issued by the Second Army's Command said that the television crew had been recording a military facility and after the material had been viewed the camera and tape would be returned.
TELEVISION PIROT TRANSMITTER WITHOUT POWER
PIROT, September 21 2000 - Editor-in-Chief of Television Pirot Dragica Pavlov Krstic yesterday accused the local electricity company of cutting off power to the stations' transmitter for political reasons, leaving the citizens of Dimitrovgrad without programmes since Tuesday night. Dragica Pavlov Krstic told Beta that there was not a single reason for the termination of power because the transmitter consumed the same amount of power as a single light bulb. She assessed that the "turning off" of the transmitter was politically motivated because Television Pirot was the only non-regime television station in that part of Serbia. Dragica Pavlov Krstic announced that Television Pirot would continue broadcasting programmes for the region of Dimitrovgrad using "alternative" sources of power.
FILIPOVIC LAWYER EXPECTS TRIAL IN OCTOBER
BELGRADE, September 21 2000 - Defender of imprisoned journalist Miroslav Filipovic, Belgrade lawyer Zoran Ateljevic announced yesterday that the appeal against Filipovic's seven-year prison sentence had arrived at the Supreme Military Court on September 10, Belgrade daily Blic writes today. Ateljevic said that he hoped the council session to discuss the appeal would be scheduled for October because the session has to be scheduled within 90 days. Ateljevic told Blic that the defense had demanded that Filipovic attend the session, and they hoped the Supreme Military Court would allow it. According to Aeljevic, Filipovic is under constant medical supervision in the Nis Military Hospital.
FREE SERBIA LAUNCHES NET RADIO WITH LIVE COVERAGE OF OPPOSITION RALLY
BELGRADE, September 21 2000 - The Free Serbia site yesterday launched an experimental programme on its Net Radio with live coverage of the Serbian Democratic Opposition final convention in front of the Federal Parliament in Belgrade. The Free Serbia site (http://www.freeserbia.org) has existed for more than a year providing photographs and short news items posted in nearly real time of all major opposition rallies in Belgrade. The Free Serbia site announced its Net Radio would, after the experimental programming period, have its own regular programmes.
PREPARATIONS FOR DECREE ON INTERNET DOMAINS ANNOUNCED
BELGRADE, September 21 2000 - The Federal public institution Radio Television Yugoslavia - Internet Yugoslavia, presented on their web page as a team of young experts in computer communication whose task is the creation of Internet presentations for the needs of the federal government and parliament, as well as monitoring Internet content, development tendencies and other data of interest to Yugoslavia, informed the public about the posting of the official site for the coming federal elections atwww.gov.yu/izbori yesterday. In a statement reported by YU Info television and daily Politika yesterday, Radio Television Yugoslavia - Internet Yugoslavia said that they had received reliable information that certain organisations financed by western countries would use parallel sites with similar names at the addresses www.izbori.org.yu and www.izbori.co.yu for the promotion of false election results in order to cause confusion among the citizens. www.izbori.org.yu is the address of the site dedicated to the elections supported by web media Free Serbia. The other address is still under construction.
The statement appealed to citizens to inform themselves solely at the official site and hoped that the decree on domains which is currently in preparation would prevent the future abuse of web site address and the Internet in general.
RADIO 021 JAMMED NOVI SAD, September 22 2000 - Radio 021 from Novi Sad stated yesterday that it had registered constant jamming on its frequency since the early morning, Beta reports today. A statement issued by the radio station said that its technicians had done everything in their power to improve the situation but since the jamming was not caused by the technical malfunction of its equipment, it expected the resumption and intensification of disruptions. The Novi Sad radio station also stated that in case its programming was completely terminated, Radio 021 would continue a delayed broadcast on its site in Real Audio format along with the text news.
HAVE YOU BEEN REFUSED A VISA FOR YUGOSLAVIA?
BELGRADE, September 22 - ANEM, the Association of Independent Electronic Media in Belgrade, today called on editorial teams, journalists and media technicians around the world to inform the Association if the Yugoslav authorities refused to issue them the required visas for covering election events on Sunday, September 24, 2000. ANEM has learned that a large number of foreign journalists have been barred from entering Yugoslavia. ANEM requires this information in order to compile an accurate and fully documented report on this type of media repression as well as violations against the right to the free exchange of information. Please address all replies to email@example.com
STV NETWORK IN SOMBOR FINED 100,000 DINARS
SOMBOR, September 22 2000. - Sombor's Magistrate Istvan Reznicek yesterday fined the Company for News and Publishing Activities STV Mreza 100,000 dinars and acting director of the branch unit STV Sombor Zoran Zivkovic and editor-in-chief Stevan Vasiljevic 5,000 dinars each. They were fined for reporting an untruth on September 13 to the effect that President of the Executive Committee of the Sombor Municipal Assembly Veljko Stojnovic had told the Sombor public that if they did not win, there would be blood in the streets of Sombor. The quote, which was the reason Stojnovic launched criminal proceedings, was part of a statement made by the local branches of the Socialists and Yugoslav Left in Sombor.
Zivkovic and Vasiljevic were fined under the rule of reduced sentence, proposed by Veljko Stojnovic and his lawyer Miodrag Sekulic. Representatives of STV Mreza did not attend the hearing. Nobody in the offices of STV in Sombor accepted the court summons so the call was read over the local radio station on the same day, September 20.
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