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Journalists detained by police, one remains in custody

(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is a 9 May 2000 ANEM press release:


BELGRADE, 9.5.2000 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) protested strongly at Monday's arrests of four journalists in Serbia and at the deportation of two Dutch journalists along with their interpreter from Pozarevac.

Miroslav Filipovic, Kraljevo correspondent for the independent daily Danas and Agence France Presse, was arrested Monday at about 6:00 p.m. at his home in Kraljevo by three people dressed in civilian clothes who presented themselves as State Security officials. According to Filipovic's wife Slavica, a search of their apartment was also carried out when the arrest was made. The police confiscated Filipovic's passport, address book, texts and the hard disc of his computer. The police minutes said that these were collected as evidence for a possible criminal procedure. The Kraljevo District Court is holding hearings as to whether to press charges against Filipovic and whether he should be freed and allowed to defend himself from freedom.

Mile Veljkovic, the Beta news agency's correspondent in Pozarevac, and Danas journalists Bojan Toncic and Natasa Bogovic were arrested Monday night in Veljkovic's flat in Pozarevac along with Otpor activist Momcilo Veljkovic, who was released from custody in Belgrade Monday. Seven policemen came to Veljkovic's flat to interview Momcilo Veljkovic, where the others were also present. The three journalists were released by Tuesday evening.

Joel Finks, a correspondent with the daily NRC Handelsblad from Rotterdam, and David Godfro, a correspondent for the daily Het Parol from Amsterdam, along with their interpreter Bosko Tubic, were taken from their hotel to the police station in Pozarevac last night at around 11 p.m. Despite having shown their credentials and reporting permits issued by the police, they were subsequently escorted out of Pozarevac.

ANEM demanded that the competent Yugoslav and Serbian authorities immediately bring an end to the brutal repression of independent media journalists and members of organisations which are not under regime control.

ANEM warned that the regime has moved from verbal threats to unjustified arrests. The association is concerned that in the next phase the regime will take even more drastic repressive measures against those who do not agree with its policies.

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