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ANEM's weekly report on media repression in Serbia



(ANEM/IFEX) - The following is ANEM's weekly report on media repression in
Serbia for the week of 30 September to 6 October 2000:

ANEM WEEKLY REPORT ON MEDIA REPRESSION IN SERBIA
SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 6, 2000

TV NOVI SAD EMPLOYEES DISMISSED




NOVI SAD, 30.09.2000 - Six employees from regime-controlled Radio Television Serbia in Novi Sad who formed a strike committee demanding changes to broadcasting policy were dismissed last night. One of the dismissed employees, Tatjana Vojtahovski-Stevanov, told Beta today that they had been dismissed for not coming to work for five consecutive days, a reason which was pure fabrication. Vojtahovski-Stevanov said that besides her, music editor Bogomir Mijatovic, cameraman Vladimir Karadjinov, montager Nebojsa Paplar, director of montage Katarina Tislovksi and director Vera Bojic had also been sacked. 70 Television Novi Sad employees yesterday signed a petition demanding that the directors of Radio Television Serbia and TV Novi Sad allow the broadcasting of election results data from opposition headquarters. Beta was told by its sources from TV Novi Sad that there were several uniformed and plain clothed policemen in the building today.

RADIO STUDIO B STOPS PROGRAMMING

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - Belgrade Radio Studio B stopped its programming yesterday, broadcasting only music in protest at the non recognition of the electoral victory of Democratic Opposition of Serbia presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica. Radio Studio B stated that the unanimous decision reached by the radio's employees would remain in force until all DOS' demands, i.e. the declaration of Kostunica as the new Yugoslavia President, had been met.

Beta reports that TV Studio B broadcast a full and detailed report on the Democratic Opposition of Serbia protest in Belgrade on the news at 5 p.m. yesterday as well as reporting on the opposition block's demand for the establishment of the presidential elections results and the withdrawal of the Federal Electoral Commission's decision to hold a second ballot.

BBC CORRESPONDENT ORDERED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - BBC permanent correspondent in Yugoslavia Jackie Rolland was yesterday given 48 hours to leave Yugoslavia. Rolland has been the BBC's correspondent in Yugoslavia for the past two years and was ordered to leave the country yesterday when she was invited to the police station to obtain an exit visa, Beta reports today.

RADIO ZAJECAR BROADCASTS DOS STATEMENTS

ZAJECAR, 30.09.2000 - The director of pro-regime Radio Zajecar yesterday bowed to an ultimatum from staff over the broadcast of opposition news and statements. The employees of the station yesterday offered their resignations to director Branimir Zivanovic. Zivanovic refused to accept the resignations and instead directed the station's editorial staff to broadcast reports of opposition rallies and statements from opposition leaders. In today's news programmes, the station has been broadcasting stories on last night's opposition demonstration in Zajecar.

BK ANNOUNCES CHARGE FOR DISINFORMATION ABOUT BOGOLJUB KARIC

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - BK Telekom company stated yesterday that it would file criminal charges against the Beta news agency and any other media which broadcast information that Bogoljub Karic had left the country for Moscow. A BK Telekom statement issued yesterday stated that Bogoljub Karic had spent the past three weeks with his family in Belgrade. Beta cited the report published in London's Telegraph regarding the current situation in Yugoslavia, which, among other things writes that Bogoljub Karic, 'one of the richest men in Serbia', had gone to Moscow with six of his assistants.

LJUBICA MARKOVIC WINNER OF ITALIAN JOURNALIST AWARD

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - Beta news agency editor-in-chief Ljubica Markovic is the winner of this year's Italian international journalist award. The jury stated that the International Calabria Award went to Belgrade journalist Ljubica Markovic for her work on spreading objective and versatile information. The award will be presented to Markovic on October 20, in Villa Sangiovanni in Calabria, southern Italy. The International Calabria award is presented every year to one journalist form Italy and one foreign journalist, Beta reports today.

ANEM CALLS ON ALL MEDIA AND JOURNALISTS TO BREAK MEDIA BLOCKADE

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - The Association of Independent Electronic Media yesterday appealed to all radio and television stations in the country and the region to contribute actively with their programmes to ensure accurate and timely information about the events in Yugoslavia at this crucial time. The Association urged all electronic media to immediately join the campaign against the information blockade, and, if they did not have access to relevant information, gave them permission to rebroadcast regional radio television B2-92 programmes during the media blockade.

CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST CUKIC FOR VECERNJE NOVOSTI PHOTOMONTAGE

BELGRADE, 30.9.2000. - The crisis headquarters of stockholders for the defense of Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti today filed criminal charges through the legal representative of this nationalised stockholding association against the daily's director and editor-in-chief Dusan Cukic. The reason for the charges was the manipulation and huge business and moral damage caused to the daily by the publishing of the photomontage from the pre election meeting in Berane on the front page of the daily's edition dated September 21st. According to the crisis headquarters, this was a deliberate attempt on the part of Dusan Cukic to mislead Vecernje novosti readers and the entire Serbian and Yugoslav public about the character and number of participants in this meeting. The crisis headquarters called on the Association of Serbian Journalists to dismiss Dusan Cukic and also appealed to the Electoral Supervisory Board to estimate whether Cukic's act was in accordance with the rules set out for the pre election campaign. The crisis headquarters is made up of Vecernje novosti veterans and pensioners, stockholders, Assembly representatives as well as representatives of the Vecernje novosti Managing Board, Supervisory Board and editorial staff.

RADIO HERCEG NOVI WORKERS ON STRIKE

HERCEG NOVI, 30.9.2000. - Radio Herceg Novi employees stopped working yesterday in protest at the dismissal of radio director Jadranka Krsanac-Kovacevic and the appointment of Milenko Vic to the position of radio director, Beta reports today. A statement issued by the employees writes that Jadranka Krsanac-Kovacevic was replaced by the same board which had supported her eight days ago.

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS SUPPORTS GENERAL STRIKE

BRUSSELS, 30.9.2000. - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today gave its support to the call for a general strike in Yugoslavia with the aim of forcing Slobodan Milosevic to step down from power. Secretary General of the Federation Aiden White stated that journalists and media workers had been in the front lines of the fight for freedom and democracy in Belgrade over the past decade, and at this crucial moment the Federation gave them their complete support in the call for mass strikes. The International Federation of Journalists also called on all its members to send messages of support to their Yugoslavian members. The Secretary General has made plans to visit Kosovo next week in order to see how the situation as regards press freedom stands there, but the government in Belgrade refused to grant him permission to visit Serbia. "The fight for democracy is in its decisive phase and the pressure on Milosevic must be intensified', White said, calling on the Association of Journalists to break all connections with Milosevic's regime and open up state media for all members of the society. The Federation statement concluded by saying that Yugoslavia was at a critical crossroads and everything must be done to show solidarity to the journalists and all those who fight for democracy.

STUDIO B JOURNALISTS REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMMING

BELGRADE, 30.09.2000. - Twelve journalists from Belgrade's regime-controlled Radio Studio B refused to participate in the radio's programming today in protest at the non-recognition of DOS candidate Vojislav Kostunica's electoral victory, Beta reports. In a written statement, the journalists said that they had been banned from further entry to the Radio premises and were thus expecting immediate suspension.

Acting on their own initiative, staff from regime-controlled Radio Lazarevac last night changed editorial policy and began reporting on DOS activities, including the call for a general strike and civil disobedience, Beta reports today.

NEWSPAPER THEFT IN BOR

BOR, 30.9.2000. - Unknown thieves stole all issues of dailies Glas javnosti and Danas in front of the Borba offices in Bor today. The complete circulation of Vecernje novosti, Sport and several other weeklies obtained by the same distributor were also stolen. An irrelevant number of these journals transported by another private distributor appeared at newsstands where they were sold within fifteen minutes. Belgrade daily Blic has not appeared on the street of Bor for the past two days. One citizen, so disgusted by the lack of independent newspapers, bought all issues of regime-controlled Politika and Politika ekspres and destroyed them in public, Beta reports.

RADIO LAZAREVAC STARTS BROADCASTING NEWS ON DOS

LAZAREVAC, 1.10.2000. - Acting on their own initiative, Radio Lazarevac employees changed the editorial policy of the radio station on Friday night and started informing its listeners about Democratic Opposition of Serbia activities and the call for a general strike and civil disobedience. Several thousands of Lazarevac citizens joined yesterday's rally in the center of the town in protest at the non-recognition of Vojisalv Kostunica's victory in the first round of the elections.

The rally participants gathered in front of Radio Lazarevac to show support to the radio's employees, Beta reports today.

TELEVISION SMEDEREVO DIRECTOR RESIGNS

SMEDEREVO, 1.10.2000. - Around three thousand Smederevo citizens blocked traffic in the center of the town for more than two and a half hours on Saturday night demanding the resignation of local television station director and editor-in-chief Aleksandar Guberinic. The citizens of Smederevo demanded Guberinic's resignation because of the ban on the broadcasting of Friday's rally. Lead by Otpor members, the citizens of Smederevo protested in front of the television building on Friday night until, after negotiations, Guberinic allowed the broadcasting of the rally. Shortly after the beginning of the broadcast, Smederevo's citizens left the television yard, and Guberenic immediately ordered the broadcast to stop. After last night's blockade of the town, Smederevo Municipality President and Smederevo Television Managing Board President Bojan Ilic declared that he had accepted the resignation of Aleksandar Guberinic. During the pre-election campaign, Guberinic did not allow Smederevo Democratic Opposition of Serbia representative Milorad Savicevic on Radio Smederevo, forbade any mention of the Alliance for Change or of Otpor and refused the broadcasting of paid information on DOS presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica's visit to Smederevo.

POLICE SEIZE INTERNA TELEVISION BROADCASTING EQUIPMENT

ZAJECAR, 2.10.2000. - Zajecar police, escorted by several Serbian Socialist Party members, yesterday seized Interna television broadcasting equipment in the Kotlujevac suburb, eyewitnesses told Beta today. TV Interna, which is a private cable TV station, broadcast only entertainment programmes. Several inhabitants of the Zajecar suburb told Beta that the Interna television equipment had been seized because of the Socialist government's fears that the television might begin broadcasting the programmes of independent media.

POZAREVAC TV DUGA BROADCASTS CALL FOR STRIKE

POZAREVAC, 2.10.2000. - Pozarevac Television Duga for the first time on Saturday evening started broadcasting a call for the citizens and students of Pozarevac schools to join the general strike, Beta reports today. Three inspectors entered the premises of TV Duga at around 8.15 p.m. bringing an abrupt halt to the broadcast. TV Duga is a local private television station.

STUDIO B EMPLOYEES JOIN STRIKE

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Around 90 employees and contributors of Radio Television Studio B announced yesterday that they would begin industrial action as of Monday at 7 a.m., FoNet reports today. The employees also appealed to the management to begin urgent, professional, impartial and full informing of the public about the current events in Belgrade and the whole country. The Studio B employees demanded the right to inform professionally, without delay and pressure and without the presence of the police in their premises. The employees stated that until their demands were met they would carry on with 30 percent of the legal minimum of work, which meant that the television would broadcast short news bulletins every 60 minutes followed by the broadcasting of music videos, and the radio would broadcast only music.

SOMBOR TV DISABLED DURING PROTEST

SOMBOR, 2.10.2000. - More than 4,000 Sombor citizens protested in the town center on Sunday evening against the presidential election fraud, Beta reports today. Sombor President and Democratic Opposition of Serbia coordinator Goran Gajevic called on all those gathered in the town center to walk to the local television station which he described as being responsible for spreading brutal lies during the pre election campaign. Beta reports that an electricity cable was cut during the protest thus disabling the further work of the television station.

RTV KRUSEVAC: BALLOT PAPERS IN GARBAGE CONTAINER

KRUSEVAC, 2.10.2000. - Radio Television Krusevac yesterday joined the appeal for an immediate change in state television's editorial policy by refusing to rebroadcast Radio Television Serbia news programmes. Radio Television Krusevac journalist Zarko Nikolic told B2-92 today that the viewers had taken a special interest in the RTV Krusevac report showing pictures of ballot papers, with the name of Vojislav Kostunica circled, found in a garbage container near the local Municipal Assembly.

G17 PLUS DEMANDS ACCESS TO STATE MEDIA

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Belgrade's non-governmental organisation G17 Plus yesterday demanded that the management of Radio Television Serbia, BK Television, Politika and Studio B allow the group of experts to inform the public about the election results and the economic circumstances in the country, Beta reports today. A letter sent to the media demanded that G17 Plus experts Miroljub Labus and Mladjan Dinkic be permitted to appear on television on Sunday or Monday in order to address the public about the current situation as regards the election results, the increase in the exchange rate of the German mark and the realisation of the Energy For Democracy project. The letter also called on journalists, technicians and administrative workers of the televisions to act according to their conscience and to join the strike if the directors and editor-in-chiefs did not allow G17 Plus experts to appear in the programme at a crucial moment in the future of all Yugoslav citizens.

CALL TO RADIO TELEVISION SERBIA COLLEAGUES TO DISOBEY

NOVI SAD, 2.10.2000. - The Radio Television Serbia Novi Sad branch Strike Board yesterday called on all Radio Television Serbia employees to disobey the management of the media house and resist the production of false information which Radio Television Serbia broadcasts every day. 'We call on all Radio Television Serbia employees throughout Serbia, from cleaners, coffee makers, journalists, montagers, directors, sound technicians, cameramen, editors and announcers to disobey and resist Radio Television Serbia's editorial policy', Strike Board member and journalist Tajtana Vojtehovski-Nestorov said yesterday. Vojtehovski-Nestorov added that the board had demanded the replacement of the Television Novi Sad management with the exception of the Hungarian, Slovakian, Romanian and Rusinski language editor-in-chiefs because they had 'informed objectively'. The Strike Board members were all given their notice on Friday, signed by Radio Television Serbia Director General Dragoljub Milanovic. The Strike Board has received a telegram of support from the families of the Radio Television Serbia employees who were killed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia last year.

VECERNJE NOVOSTI JOURNALISTS DEMAND UNBIASED REPORTING

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - A group of 50 journalists employed by regime-controlled Belgrade daily Vecernji novosti today demanded that the daily's editorial board immediately change its policy and begin unbiased reporting of the current events in the country. Beta reports that the journalists have given the board 24 hours to implement a return to the elementary ethical and professional principles of journalism after which time they will take more drastic measures.

EIGHT LOCAL RADIO STATIONS CEASE RTS REBROADCASTS

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Eight local radio stations in Serbia have in the last 24 hours informed the Democratic Opposition of Serbia press center that they have ceased broadcasting Radio Television Serbia programmes. Radio Obrenovac, Radio Smederevo, Radio Novi Becej, Radio Zajecar, Radio Lazarevac, Radio Mladenovac and Radio Sremcica, all of which were government-controlled until the elections, stated that in the future they would inform the citizens of all events objectively and that they fully supported the citizens in their general civil disobedience.

RADIO BELGRADE'S THIRD CHANNEL FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDIATION

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Fourteen members of the editorial team of regime-controlled Radio Belgrade's third channel issued a statement today in which they called on international mediators to intervene in the current post electoral crisis in the country. The statement also urged all media, particularly state television, to ensure conditions for unbiased reporting of all political view points.

TV TIMOK STOPS REBROADCAST OF RTS NEWS PROGRAMMES

ZAJECAR, 2.10.2000. - Local state-controlled Timok Television from Zajecar today stopped rebroadcasting Radio Television Serbia news programmes. This move came as a result of a petition signed by the television station's journalists and editors demanding unbiased reporting of current events in the region.

REGISTRATION OF GLAS JAVNOSTI FOUNDER MISSING

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Glas javnosti editorial team stated yesterday that after a number of attempts at obtaining an explanation as to why the founder, publisher and printer of the daily could not gain receipt of registration in the court register, Belgrade Business Court President Milena Arezina had stated that the whole case had been lost and could not be found. The statement estimates, along with the question as to whether this is a matter of neglect or manipulation on the part of Belgrade's Business Court, that avoiding registration of the company is an attempt to block the work of the daily and its printing house.

JIRI DIENSTBIR MEETS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION MEMBERS

BELGRADE, 2.10.2000. - Special UN Rapporteur for Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbir met Association of Independent Journalists of Serbia Executive Board members on Sunday, Beta reports today. The statement said that Dinstbir had been informed about the condition of the two imprisoned journalists, Miroslav Filipovic and Zoran Lukovic, as well as about the repression independent media and journalists had been exposed to both prior to and after the federal elections. Association representatives informed Dienstbir about the threats to foreign journalists during the coverage of the election results and the expulsion of foreign correspondents from Yugoslavia.

MATROZ QUITS DELIVERING NEWSPRINT TO REGIME NEWSPAPERS

SREMSKA MITROVICA, 3.10.2000. - Matroz, the only paper plant in Yugoslavia, has decided to quit newsprint deliveries to dailies under regime control, an ANEM correspondent reports today. A statement issued by the Matroz union today stated that although the union was not politically oriented, its members wished to show solidarity with all the citizens of Yugoslavia in expressing civil disobedience until the elections had been recognized and the results established and justly declared. The statement said that the company's work would be reduced to essential levels only and that if required it would bring a halt to all deliveries in order to avoid participation in the spreading of misinformation by the dailies which printed on their paper.

PRISTINA RTS STOPS BROADCASTING

PROKUPLJE, 3.10.2000. - A group of demonstrators who have been protesting in Prokuplje since early yesterday morning entered the building housing Pristina Radio Television Serbia and Radio Toplica studios at 3 p.m. today. The group of around 50 demonstrators entered the building thus bringing the broadcasting of regular programmes to an abrupt halt. The message "DOS - Free Toplica" was broadcast for a brief time until a power cut brought an end to all broadcasts. According to Serbian Renewal Movement representative Aleksandar Djordjevic, the opposition supporters left the premises and the radio and TV technical equipment was locked. Broadcasting did not resume when the power was returned. The Pristina Radio Television Serbia studio was moved to Prokuplje in June last year, Beta reports.

RADIO BELGRADE EMPLOYEES DEMAND NEW EDITORIAL POLICY

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - Sixty eight Radio Television Serbia employees from Radio Belgrade today demanded an immediate change in editorial policy. Sixty eight journalists, editors, musical artists and administrative workers from Radio Belgrade signed the demand calling for the immediate recognition of the federal election results in which the people had expressed their will for democratic changes. The employees demanded an urgent change in Radio Belgrade editorial policy and the immediate return to the principle of objective informing. The demand stated that the image of the situation in the country and the world, which Radio Belgrade had created through its informative programmes was one-sided, distorted and thus not true. The demand also said that although the damage had already been done and could not be repaired, the only action they could take was to establish an immediate editorial change, Beta reports.

175 STATE MEDIA JOURNALISTS RESPOND TO ASSOCIATION'S APPEAL

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - The Association of Independent Serbian Journalists was today given 175 signatures from journalists employed by Radio Television Serbia, Radio Belgrade and Politika who joined the demands to respect the electoral will of the citizens. Association Secretary Dragutin Rokovic told Beta that the support from the four state media had come after the public call published in dailies Glas javnosti and Danas. Rokovic said that 70 signatures had been collected in TV Belgrade, 53 in Radio Belgrade and 20 in Nis Radio Television Serbia. Rokovic also said that the Association had received a letter from Politika in which 32 journalists and assistants had demanded that the editor-in-chief of Politika quit the practice of one-sided informing of the public and that the relevant forces in society gain space on the pages of the daily. The Association of Independent Serbian Journalists has made a public appeal to all regime media journalists to show solidarity with civil resistance.

RADIO NOVI SAD WORKERS DEMAND PROFESSIONAL INFORMING

NOVI SAD, 3.10.2000. - Around 130 Radio Novi Sad employees today sent a demand to the RTV Novi Sad management to start objective informing and professional reporting in accordance with the principles of the journalist profession. The employees have given the management until 10 a.m. tomorrow to respond to their demands at which time they will join the general strike if their demands are not met, FoNet reports.

UZICE RADIO TELEVISION SERBIA JOINS STRIKE

UZICE, 3.10.2000. - Uzice Radio Television Serbia today joined the general strike because of a disagreement with the media's editorial policy. A statement signed by around 20 employees from Uzice Radio Television Serbia said that they had joined the strike because of a disagreement with the editorial policy of the house and that they would not return to work until they were able to inform professionally and truthfully on the current events in Uzice and the Zlatibor region. The statement stressed that their decision was not political in nature, but was their contribution to the people's struggle for truth.

TANJUG PETITION FOR EDITORIAL POLICY CHANGE

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - 54 employees of the TANJUG state agency have signed a petition demanding a change in editorial policy, FoNet reports today. According to unofficial information, between 400 and 500 people are employed by TANJUG. The house management has begun taking discipline measures as a result of the petition and journalist Vladimir Gajic was 'removed from work' temporarily today pending a final decision on his misconduct. Gajic was charged with disturbing the work process and improper conduct. "My improper conduct and disturbance of the work process is probably because I criticized the editorial and business policy of the house in front of my colleagues and TANJUG Deputy Director Dragoslav Micic today', Gajic stated.

VECERNJE NOVOSTI EMPLOYEES DEMANDS CUKIC'S RESIGNATION

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - A group of Vecernje novosti journalists today demanded that daily editor-in-chief Dusan Cukic urgently bring an end to "connecting its destiny with the interests of any narrow political option". An open letter to Cukic, which was signed by around 100 journalists and assistants, demanded that he respect the people's will and inform objectively on current affairs in the country, without subterfuge or the falsification of events and facts. The Vecernje novosti redaction team has informed their crisis headquarters that if their demands are not met they will call for the immediate resignation of Cukic's as well as that of his Deputy Ilija Zurovic and assistant Ivan Pajdic. 'In the case of possible repression against any individual, the redaction will give its full support to any threatened member of staff and will consider it as revenge on all journalists and Vecernje novosti readers', the employees stressed. 25 full time workers and honorary assistants of Vecernje novosti Computer Center stopped working today, Beta reports.

RADIO YUGOSLAVIA JOURNALISTS DEMAND EDITORIAL POLICY CHANGE

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - Radio Yugoslavia security staff today expelled and confiscated the press pass belonging to radio business column editor Mladen Bijelic because he had joined his colleagues in signing the demand for an urgent change in Radio Yugoslavia's editorial policy. Eight Radio Yugoslavia employees yesterday called on their colleagues to resist the current editorial policy of the media house. The director and editor-in-chief of Radio Yugoslavia is Ivan Markovic, the Federal Minister for Telecommunications and JUL Senior official, Beta reports.

SUBOTICA TV WORKER SACKED

SUBOTICA, 3.10.2000. - Subotica local TV technician Katarina Janjic was removed from her job yesterday for broadcasting a call to Subotica's citizens to unite in defending the electoral will of the citizens during normal programming. Subotica TV Super is under Radio Television Serbia ownership and its managers said that the disciplinary commission would decide on Janic's case late yesterday.

RTS MUSIC PRODUCTION DIRECTOR SACKED

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - Radio Belgrade Director Milivije Pavlovic today sacked Radio Television Serbia Music Production Director Branislava Saper for signing an appeal to Radio Television Serbia's informative programme editorial staff. The appeal, which was signed by 20 Radio Television Serbia music production members, seven producers, fifteen jazz orchestra members and fifty-two symphony orchestra members demanded that Radio Television Serbia's informative programme enable all participants in the elections to document the result they had', FoNet reports.

MAJORITY OF STUDIO B EMPLOYEES ON STRIKE

BELGRADE, 3.10.2000. - More than 130 employees from Belgrade's Radio Television Studio B have joined the general strike in protest at the management of the media house's non fulfillment of their demands for professional and objective informing of the citizens. Studio B union representatives told a press conference yesterday that they would begin striking immediately and called on their colleagues from other media houses to support their demands and to resist any possible pressure on their work. Radio Studio B has been on strike since Friday, broadcasting only music, Beta reports.

KRALJEVO TV 10 ON STRIKE

KRALJEVO, 3.10.2000. - Around 20 journalists and technicians from Kraljevo's private TV 10, which previously backed the Serbian Socialist Party, decided to join the general strike yesterday. TV 10 employees stated that their decision to strike was in protest at the non-recognition of the people's electoral will. TV 10 is currently rebroadcasting satellite programmes instead of its own.

JESIC: TV NOVI SAD NO LONGER EXISTS!

NOVI SAD, 3.10.2000. - After yesterday's negotiations between a delegation from the Democratic Opposition of Serbia and Otpor with the editorial staff of Television Novi Sad, Novi Sad Otpor member Vladimir Jesic told the citizens that Television Novi Sad no longer existed, SRNA reports today. Jesic said that Radio Television Serbia broadcast its programmes on this frequency from the Belgrade RTS studio, and called on all employees of Belgrade's Radio Television Serbia to finish what they had started in Novi Sad.

The citizens of Novi Sad entered Novi Sad Radio Television Serbia studio at around 5 p.m. in order to demand the objective informing of the public on the post electoral crisis in the country. Negotiations between DOS, Otpor and Radio Television Novi Sad's editorial staff were facilitated by the mediation of the local police.

TV ROSULJA WITHOUT TRANSMITTER

VLASOTINCE, 4.10.2000. - During the night of October 3rd, between 2 and 3 a.m. the Federal Ministry of Telecommunications removed Vlasotince TV Rosulja transmitter from the building, the television editorial team reported today. Like the majority of private media in Serbia, TV Rosulja had a two-year temporary license dating from 1998 and the television company had applied for an extension of the contract with the Ministry. Without the knowledge or presence of anybody from the editorial team, the building housing the link receiver and modulator was broken into and the equipment confiscated. The equipment belonging to mobile telephone company Mobtel, which was in the same building, was dismantled at the same time.

TV Rosulja was the only television station in the Jablanica region which presented party candidates and their programmes in paid terms during the pre election campaign. TV Rosulja was removed from its studio premises a month ago, but resumed broadcasting from another location.

SERBIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES 'LEGAL MEASURES'

BELGRADE, 4.10.2000. - A Serbian Government session yesterday presided by Mirko Marjanovic estimated that many foreign agencies were continuing the special war against Yugoslavia in an attempt to cause chaos in the country, threaten the citizens and prevent the normal functioning of state institutions. Radio Television Serbia broadcast the statement yesterday which went on to say that every subversive activity which threatened the individual or material security of Yugoslavia's citizens would be stopped in accordance with the law. The statement said that the violent behavior of individuals and groups which posed a threat to citizens' lives, making traffic impossible, stopping normal work in factories, schools and medical care institutions would be treated according to the law. The Government threatened that 'legal measures' would be taken against the organizers of such activities describing them as 'criminal'. The statement concluded that the measures would affect those media financed from abroad and those which spread lies and called for bloodshed.

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF NEW STRIKES IN STATE MEDIA

BELGRADE, 4.10.2000. - Partial strikes continued and new ones were announced in state owned and pro regime media in Serbia yesterday along with punishments for those employees who demanded the objective informing of the public and recognition of the electoral victory of Democratic Opposition of Serbia presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica. The majority of demands for an immediate change in editorial policy were within the Radio Television Serbia system and there were hunts for protests within the Politika media house. Around 150 employees from Radio Novi Sad, which works within Radio Television Serbia, joined the strike at 10 a.m. on Tuesday when their management refused to meet demands for an editorial policy change and the objective informing of current events in the country following the federal electoral fraud. Radio Novi Sad informative programme editor Bojana Karavidic stated that despite the strike, the station still broadcast programmes thanks to a 'group of slaves'. Beta reports that Radio Novi Sad programmes broadcast in languages of the national minorities were canceled following an order from Belgrade Radio Television Serbia central offices, which is the first case of such an order being issued since the Second World War. TV Novi Sad, whose programming was stopped under pressure of mass demonstrations on Monday, resumed broadcasting this morning in the spirit of the current editorial policy. Around one hundred employees from Novi Sad daily Dnevnik, founded by the Vojvodina Parliament, demanded that the management of the daily immediately start objectively informing on current events in the country. Nine journalists from Belgrade Radio 202 also demanded a change in editorial policy stressing that 'the lie is not smaller if it is told in a moderate form, and the truth stops existing if nobody tells it'. RTS music production employees stated that they had quit working in protest at the replacement of their director Branislava Saper. Saper was replaced on Monday, after the Music production team's appeal to RTS informative programme editorial staff to enable all participants in the elections to declare and document publicly the results they had. Yesterday's appeal by the Music production team was joined today by conductors and around ten musicians from several orchestras within Radio Television Serbia production. Nis Radio Television Serbia regional center stopped broadcasting at around 2 p.m. yesterday in response to the protest of around one thousand Nis citizens, who demanded an end to Belgrade RTS rebroadcasting. Nis RTS stopped broadcasting its programmes two days ago and since then only the first RTS channel has been broadcast. More than twenty employees from Nis RTS joined demands for the recognition of Kostunica's victory in the recent federal elections. The majority of employees in Valjevo RTS demanded that the management of the state television change the editorial policy urgently. A group of 18 RTS editors of cultural, entertainment and artistic programmes demanded that the Serbian Parliament replace RTS General Director Dragoljub Milanovic, all programme editor-in-chiefs, expert services directors and all those with higher levels of responsibility who influenced RTS editorial policy. The letter sent to the President of the Serbian Parliament stated that having considered the seriousness of the current situation, the replacement of these individuals should be the main priority of the Serbian Parliament which was the founder of Radio Television Serbia. Radio Yugoslavia journalists Yugoslavia Siroka and Vuksan Dabetic, who had signed the demand for the radio station's editorial policy change were physically removed from the Radio Yugoslavia building on Tuesday. The director and editor-in-chief of Radio Yugoslavia is Ivan Markovic who is also a Yugoslav Left senior official and former Federal Minister of Telecommunications.

DEAFENING NOISE IN BELGRADE DURING RTS CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - In the majority of Belgrade's municipalities the citizens have started making a deafening noise at around 7.30 p.m. when Radio Television Serbia's current affairs programme is broadcast. The citizens whistle and bang on pots and other metal objects. The citizens of Vracar, Vozdovac and Novi Beograd municipalities are reported to be the loudest in expressing their protest at the state media's misrepresentation of post electoral events.

RTS EMPLOYEES ANNOUNCE STRIKE, RTS UNION AGAINST STRIKE

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - Radio Television Serbia production technicians for the informative programme announced yesterday that they would cease work at 10 a.m. on Thursday if their colleagues from the informative programme did not start informing the public honestly and timely, Beta reports today. A letter sent to Radio Television Serbia informative programme editor-in-chief Milorad Komrakov demanded that all informative programme editors and journalists who still participated in biased informing to cancel their obedience and join their colleagues in dissociating themselves from the editorial policy creators. The letter stressed that as professionals, the technicians felt that the editorial policy forced demands which prevented any form of professional expression and satisfaction.

The Radio Television Serbia Union described the announcement made by state television employees that they would join the strike if the editorial policy were not changed as 'a political demand' thus refusing to meet their demands.

POLITIKA ON THE GENERAL STRIKE

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - Politika employees last night called on all employees of the media house to gather again on Thursday at noon in the hall of the media house building to vote on whether to join the general strike. The gathering of Politika employees was held in the Media Center because of Politika director and editor-in-chief Hadzi Dragan Antic's failure to respond to the employees demand to hold the gathering on their premises.

Former Politika editors-in-chief Bosko Jaksic, Momcilo Pantelic and Vojin Partonic, yesterday appealed to the media house's management to balance the editorial policy with the reality in the country and the basic rules of journalism in order to prevent conflict in the country. A letter sent to Politika director and editor-in-chief Hadzi Dragan Antic, the media house's Managing Board President Dragan Tomic and Politika Stockholders Assembly President Jara Ribnkar stressed that the editorial policy be in accordance with the mood of the people expressed at the federal elections. Jaksic, Pantelic and Partonic wrote that Politika was expected to show objectivity and balance in its best tradition, not to obey supporters' passions and selectivity in order to be a reliable informative fulcrum of democratic life. They also expressed the belief that their position would be supported by the Managing board and Politika's AD Stockholders Assembly.

VECERNJE NOVOSTI EMPLOYEES GIVE MANAGEMENT DEADLINE

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - Vecernje novosti employees yesterday gave the daily management three days in which to change editorial policy or they would join the general strike. The employees statement stressed that urgent changes in the one sided informing were essential since the daily had been in the service of the narrowest political interests for too long.

DNEVNIK MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC

NOVI SAD, 5.9.2000. - The management and employees of Novi Sad daily Dnevnik and magazines published within the house yesterday expressed their support for the demands made by the democratic public in establishing the truth of the presidential election results. Dnevnik, whose founder is the Vojvodina Parliament, changed its editorial policy yesterday publishing on its front page several reports on strikes and protests in Vojvodina and Serbia caused by the non-recognition of DOS candidate Vojislav Kostunica's victory in the presidential elections.

NIS RTS EMPLOYEES TOLD TO GO HOME

NIS, 5.9.2000. - Nis Radio Television Serbia studio employees were told on arrival at work yesterday morning to go home since the branch would not work until further notice. Nis RTS studio security chief told the employees to ask branch office chief Sladjana Stamenkovic for an explanation. Stamenkovic told the employees that she could not give them a written explanation as to why they would not work, because she was waiting for the position of her superiors. Nis RTS studio ceased broadcasting on Tuesday in response to citizens' demands and after the proclamation of around twenty Nis studio employees who demanded the respect of the citizens' will and the objective informing on current events in the country.

VALJEVO RTS EMPLOYEES SACKED

VALJEVO, 5.9.2000. - Valjevo Radio Television Serbia studio editor-in-chief Slobodan Rankovic along with a further 39 studio programme workers yesterday receive their notice from the studio. Rankovic's notice, signed by Radio Television Serbia General Director Dragoljub Milanovic stated that the reason for his dismissal was not coming to work for five consecutive days. When the citizens of Valjevo learnt about the dismissals, several hundreds of them gathered in support for the sacked workers. Around ten policemen were reported to be present around the studio building as security.

RADIO NOVI SAD CONTINUES PROGRAM IN SLOVAKIAN

NOVI SAD, 5.9.2000. - The editorial team of Radio Novi Sad's Slovakian language programme has decided to continue work since the program is the only electronic media in Vojvodina which covers almost the whole territory of the province, a statement form the meeting held on Wednesday stressed, Beta reports today. The statement said that should the objective informing of the programme in Slovakian be prevented, the members would immediately cease work.

DEMAND TO SUBOTICA TV CENTRE TO CHANGE EDITORIAL POLICY

SUBOTICA, 5.9.2000. - Thirty-two employees from Subotica TV centre yesterday demanded that the Managing Board reconsider the editorial policy of the informative house. The demand stated that current editorial policy prevented them from informing the public objectively, stressing that if their demands were not met they would be forced to join the general strike.

SUBOTICA TV SUPER CEASES BROADCASTING

SUBOTICA, 5.9.2000. - Milutin Mitric, Subotica local TV Super Director, which worked within Radio Televsion Serbia, announced yesterday that all broadcasting would cease. MTV programmes were broadcast on the television channel on Wednesday afternoon. TV Super editor-in-chief Savo Duvnjak, who was appointed to this position a month ago, resigned on Wednesday afternoon, Beta reports today.

RADIO S JOURNALISTS CEASE WORK

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - A group of editors, journalists and workers from Radio S yesterday expressed their solidarity with other media house colleagues and the citizens of Serbia who had joined the general strike because of the recent election fraud. The employees' public statement given to Radio B2-92 stated that the employees refused to participate in the biased informing and misrepresentation of information as instructed by their media house.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION ON 'A CERTAIN NUMBER OF MEDIA'

BELGRADE, 5.9.2000. - The Yugoslav Ministry of Information yesterday accused a certain number of media in the country of reporting and giving different kinds of statements which misinformed the public in the country thus causing disturbance and unease in the citizens. The Ministry told such media to respect their legal obligation to honestly, timely and completely inform the public thus respecting the inviolability of human dignity.

REPORTERS CONDEMN RESIGNATIONS AND SUSPENSION OF JOURNALISTS

PARIS, 5.9.2000. - Reporters Sans Frontières protested yesterday at the sacking and suspension of journalists working in the state controlled media in Yugoslavia, Beta reports today. The letter sent to Yugoslav Minister for Information Goran Matic stated that the government was removing journalists from state media who demanded objective and professional informing. Reporters Sans Frontières stressed the case of the temporary suspension of three journalists from the state owned TANJUG agency who had started a petition demanding the respect of ethics and the broadcast of complete information regarding the election results.

TV MONTENEGRO JAMMED FROM YUGOSLAV TERRITORY

PODGORICA, 6.10.2000. - Television Montenegro stated today that its satellite program has been jammed by a strong device from Serbian territory for the past few days, Beta reports. Montenegrin television showed what the jamming looked like in its central informative program Dnevnik. When the images from Belgrade were shown, i.e. images of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia demonstrations and DOS leader statements, there was jamming of both the sound and image, but when Slobodan Milosevic's speeches were broadcast, the jamming stopped and everything was fine. TV Montenegro stated that the jamming occurred every time a story which did not suit the Belgrade regime was broadcast. TV Montenegro's satellite programme is rebroadcast by more than thirty Serbian municipal television stations.

RTS WORKERS JOIN GENERAL STRIKE

BELGRADE, 6.10.2000 - Radio Television Serbia workers are on general strike from today and demand a change in editorial policy as well as the replacement of the television management along with director Dragoljub Milanovic, former RTS editor and Strike Board President Miodrag Zupanc stated yesterday. Beta reports. At a meeting in Belgrade's Dusko Radovic Theater, where around 300 workers were present, Zupanc stated that the workers demanded all employees stop working, the annulment of all resignations and suspensions the workers had received over the last several years, and the return to work of all workers who were on forced vacation. The television workers also demanded that the television stop broadcasting immediately claiming that the state television programmes would be stopped that afternoon. It was announced that all workers' demands would be read at the DOS meeting in front the Federal Parliament which all employees would attend. Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac, former RTS journalist said that the television workers had not forgotten that Milanovic, Tatjana Lenard, Milorad Komrakov and Jovan Ristic were responsible for the deaths of 16 journalists belonging to the house. The RTS workers protest ended at 10 a.m. yesterday with a gathering near the monument erected in honour of the colleagues killed in last year's NATO bombing of the RTS building in Aberdareva Street.

COMPLETE CHANGE OF MEDIA IMAGE IN SERBIA

BELGRADE, NOVI SAD, CACAK, JAGODINA, MLADENOVAC, LESKOVAC, 6.10.2000. - Belgrade TV stations Pink, Kosava, Palma and all three Radio Television Serbia channels stopped broadcasting their programmes yesterday afternoon. After demonstrators burst into the Politika building, the television station started to inform on events on the Belgrade streets, and DOS leaders Zarko Korac and Slobodan Orlion were the first guests to appear on the first programme broadcast on 'Free Politika' yesterday evening. The Politika strike board announced a 'free' issue of the newspapers on Friday. BK TV also informed the public about the protests in Serbia, and TV Novi Sad broadcast information that this television belonged to the people once again.

New television Vracar started broadcasting unedited footage of the events in front of the Federal Parliament building.

A team of journalists who had been forced to leave the television station in May when the city TV was seized by the Serbian Government resumed broadcasting from Belgrade TV Studio B. Studio B news was read by Marko Jankovic, who worked for the media house for many years. He addressed the citizens saying that free Studio B would remain with the citizens in the future. Jankovic thanked the citizens for coming in such large numbers to defend what they had already won with their ballot papers.

Demonstrators entered Radio B92 premises, which had also been seized by the regime. The team which was present in the radio premises withdrew peacefully, and the Radio B2-92 crew from the original B92 resumed broadcasting programmes at the radio's original frequency of 92,5 MHz.

Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti journalist Biljana Nikolic today called on all those participating in demonstrations in Belgrade not to demolish the building housing the daily since Vecernje novosti was now free. Nikolic told Beta that all employees from the daily who were on strike yesterday, entered the building today and made it free. According to Nikolic, the daily editor-in-chief Dusan Cukic and management members Ilija Zurovac and Ivan Pajic had left the building.

The TANJUG agency stated that it was with the people of its country and that from now on, would inform only on the grounds of professional principles. The statement signed by the 'journalists of free TANJUG' added that the agency would inform 'truly and objectively, in accordance with the fundamental interests of the people and the country. The TANJUG agency addressed Vojislav Kostunica as 'President-elect Vojislav Kostunica'.

All Radio Television Serbia channels began new programming at 9:20 yesterday evening. The programming was opened by Radio Television Serbia cultural editor Bojan Bosiljcic who told the viewers that this was their television. Bosiljic announced Vojislav Kostunica as a forthcoming guest on RTS programmes addressing him as the newly elected Yugoslavian President. Bosiljcic also said that reports from radios B2-92 and Index would be used on all RTS channels. The first guest on new RTS was one of the leaders of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, Nebojsa Covic

RTS informative programme editor Zeljko Avramovic who left the television building on Thursday when the demonstrators burst in, stated that he felt safe and sound. "My school friend dragged me out of the RTS building", Avramovic told Beta, adding that all he wanted now was a good sleep. Around 30 uniformed and armed persons entered the Radio Television Serbia building in Belgrade at around 2 p.m. yesterday. A further 30 were placed around the building preventing anyone from entering or leaving the premises.

TV Novi Sad Director Milan Todorov today met with Novi Sad City Council representatives to inform them that he had returned to TV Novi Sad to the citizens of the town. Todorov said that all strikers who had been sacked had returned to the TV station to prepare programmes which would belong to Novi Sad and the citizens of Vojvodina.

From 4 p.m. on Thursday the RTS transmitter on Ovcar Mount near Cacak stopped broadcasting the first and second channels of Radio Television Serbia. Cacak local media reported that a group of Cacak citizens had seized the RTS transmitter on Ovcar Mount thus making RTS program broadcasting impossible.

Jagodina Democratic Opposition of Serbia supporters entered Radio Television Serbia Jagodina branch at around 6 p.m.

The commander of police forces in the outer Belgrade suburb of Mladenovac, Miroslav Antic, this afternoon congratulated representatives of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia on their victory and gave them the keys to TV Mladenovac, which police had seized and put under regime control on May 17. According to information from the local magazine Pecat, DOS members were in the television premises attempting to resume broadcasts.

DOS representatives also entered Leskovac Local regime controlled television yesterday. As a Radio B2-92 correspondent reports, the television Director Aleksandar Davnic, who was a member of the Serbian Socialist Party, left the television premises to whistles and jeering from the crowd gathered outside. DOS representatives entered the television building at around 2 p.m. demanding that Davinic leave the building immediately, and the employees begin informing according to the journalist code. The editorial team agreed with the demand, Davinic signed his resignation, followed by a celebration of around 20,000 Leskovac citizens.

FATHER OF KILLED RTS WORKER ACCUSES MILANOVIC AND RISTIC

BELGRADE, 6.10.2000. - Kuzman Stoimenovski, the father of Darko Stoimenovski who was killed during the NATO bombing of the radio Television Serbia building last year, tonight accused Radio Television Serbia General Director Dragoljub Milanovic and one of the media house directors, Jovan Ristic, of being responsible for the deaths of 16 state television employees. Reacting to the news published by daily Danas today that Milanovic and Ristic had known twelve hours before the bombing that the building would be bombed, Stoimenkoviski told Beta that he believed that the two RTS heads were murderers and criminals. "So, I completely believe the news, they are murderers and they shall rot in a dungeon. They are murderers and criminals. If they are not criminals and the murderers of my son and the other state television employees, let them prove it in front of the parents and the courts', Stoimenkovski said.



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