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Deterioration of journalist Filipovic's health: he has lost twenty kilos since being incarcerated

(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, RSF expressed its deep concern over the deterioration of the health of Serb journalist Miroslav Filipovic, jailed since 22 May 2000 in the Nis military prison. "We ask you to take the measures necessary for his health so that the journalist can receive all necessary care and that his hospitalisation be prolonged until he has completely recovered," declared Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary-general. Furthermore, the organisation again demanded the immediate release of the journalist and the withdrawal of all charges against him.

According to information obtained by RSF, on 8 August, Filipovic was transferred from the Nis military prison to the military hospital in Belgrade, where he was treated for "heart troubles". The same day, Slavica, the journalist's wife, was able to visit him. His daughter, Ivana, explained to RSF that her father was "physically affected" by his detention. Since 31 July, the journalist was examined every day in the Nis hospital for feelings of sickness linked to heart problems. While the doctor who had monitored him recommended that he stay in the hospital during the night, the hospital's management required the journalist, until Monday 7 August, to return each night to the Nis military prison. According to his close relations, Filipovic has lost twenty kilograms since the beginning of his detention in May.

Filipovic, correspondent for the independent daily "Danas" and Agence France-Presse in Kraljevo (central Serbia), was sentenced on 26 July by the Nis military court to seven years in prison for "spying" and "broadcast of false news". The journalist has decided to appeal his sentence before the Supreme Military Court. He had published articles denouncing the actions of the Yugoslav army in Kosovo on the Internet site of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an independent institute based in London, for which he is also a correspondent. He was arrested for the first time on 8 May in his apartment in Kraljevo by members of the security services. Released on 12 May, he was re-incarcerated ten days later.

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