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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 14 to 20 October 2000:

OCTOBER 14 -- OCTOBER 20, 2000


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - The Serbian Justice Ministry yesterday refused a parole request from imprisoned journalist Zoran Lukovic. The former Dnevni telegraf journalist was convicted last year on libel charges filed by sacked Dedinje Clinic Director and former Health Minister Milovan Bojic.

Lukovic's lawyer said today that the only legal recourse left for him was a full pardon. He commented on the release of journalist, Miroslav Filipovic, by the Nis Military Court earlier this week, saying that it seemed that the Serbian Government saw Bojic as meriting greater protection under the law than the security of the country.


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - Politika AD media house Crisis Headquarters decided yesterday to bar journalist Aleksandar Tijanic from entering the Politika building until Tuesday October 17, Beta reports. Aleksandar Tijanic has been appointed new director by the Managing Board despite Crisis Headquarters' demands that Politika US correspondent Darko Ribnikar be appointed to the post. The incumbent director Dragan Hadzi Antic submitted his resignation to the Managing Board of the house earlier this week.

"We are against Tijanic taking over Politika, because we believe all this is being done in order to enter the Politika archives so as to conceal the machinations involved in the process of privatisation," the Crisis Headquarters said. The Crisis Headquarters claim that Tijanic was appointed director by the "assembly of sixteen people loyal to the former director".


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - The Television Novi Sad Strike Committee yesterday demanded that the Vojvodina Parliament return the founder rights of Radio Television Novi Sad to Vojvodina and appoint a temporary co-ordination body.

In a statement sent to Beta, the Television Novi Sad Strike Committee emphasised that Milan Todorov could not be director of Radio Television Novi Sad and Television Novi Sad. The Strike Committee proposed the setting up of a temporary co-ordination body which would, among others, include Slobodan Budakov as advisor, Dragisa Stankovic as chief programming co-ordinator and Rencar Tivadar as info section co-ordinator. The temporary co-ordination body would manage the programming and business of Television Novi Sad until such time as the Vojvodina Parliament appointed the new house management.


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - Employees of Radio Television Serbia have learnt in recent days that a certain number of their colleagues, members of the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Yugoslav Left, received a substantial sum of money in the form of variables in addition to their basic salary, SRNA was told by well-informed sources in RTS. According to SRNA sources, these additional payments were discovered during the salary processing when it was discovered that members of the Socialist Party and the Yugoslav Left working in the Info section had larger salaries than their colleagues doing the same job for the same number of years.

SRNA reports that this applied not only to senior officials of the left coalition such as RTS director Dragoljub Milanovic, whose salary was around 10,000 German marks and editors Milorad Komrakov and Tatjana Lenard, but also to other journalists and technical crew who were members of these two parties. The additional payments were, of course smaller than those received by the editors.

"It's a good thing that all salaries were documented. We will soon publicly announce who was receiving how much," the SRNA source said.


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - The monument dedicated to Radio Television Serbia employees who lost their lives in last year's NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was desecrated on Thursday night, Beta was informed by the victims' parents today.

Beta reports that flowers were replaced by a liquor bottle and three heads of cauliflower.

On Thursday night State television broadcast for the first time a documentary entitled "Anatomy of Pain" about the bombing of the state television building when the sixteen employees were killed. The film, directed by Janko Baljak, was shown after the prime time news programme Dnevnik.


BELGRADE, October 14, 2000 - Radio Television Serbia Independent Union will not allow the return of those editors and journalists who sullied the profession and worked under orders from the former regime to this media house, nor will they allow what these people did to be forgotten, union leaders told a press conference in the Belgrade Media Centre yesterday, Radio B92 reports.

RTS Independent Union senior official and head of the temporary editorial collegium Isidora Sekulic said that the new RTS had been working in very difficult conditions since October 5 and that due to technical reasons it was not possible to control whether the Kosutnjak building had been frequented by people who did not belong there. "The basic levers of the television management have not shown their faces for well-known reasons, but journalists from the former RTS prime crew have come and demanded to work in the info section," Sekulic said. Members of the RTS Strike Committee, who are also members of the independent union, said that out of the entire former management only Milorad Komrakov had resigned.

President of the RTS Independent Union Lazar Lalic told the press conference that this union, which because of the persecution of its leaders over the last ten years had dropped to 350 members, had suddenly received 17,000 new members since October 5.


BELGRADE, October 15, 2000 - With just one word, "dismissed", the Serbian Justice Ministry declined imprisoned Dnevni telegraf journalist Zoran Lukovic's request for early parole. Lukovic was convicted on charges filed by former Serbian Health Minister Milovan Bojic. Commenting on the Justice Ministry's failure to grant Lukovic's parole, his defence lawyer Gradimir Nalic told Radio B92 today that we "witnessed the Military Court, which defends much higher values, releasing Filipovic and it seems that the Justice Ministry considers that Milovan Bojic merits much greater protection." Nalic said that Lukovic had waited for a response to his request for days due to the Ministry's haughtiness, adding that the parole request would be made again in a few days when, he hoped, the situation would have normalised and the new authorities would have had time to consider Lukovic's case or when Minister Bojic's influence had come to an end.


NOVI SAD, October 15, 2000 - Novi Sad daily Dnevnik yesterday accused the Serbian Socialist Party of turning local Television Most into the "Socialist Party television channel", financed by "extorting money from Novi Sad businessmen". The daily writes that this television channel was granted both a permit and frequency overnight by Federal Minister of Telecommunications Ivan Markovic and immediately started broadcasting. The money for financing Television Most is reported to have come from around fifty well-situated businessmen who attended a meeting scheduled by secretary of the Socialist province branch and acting director of the television station Dusan Bajatovic. "Between January and July this year, some of these companies have transferred around six million dinars or around 300,000 German marks" the paper writes, not specifying to whose account the funds had been transferred to. "It is quite obvious that with the help of 'voluntary' donations you can create anything, all that is required is for you to be a Socialist," Dnevnik concluded.


PRISTINA, October 15, 2000 - UN police forces carried out a wave of arrests in Pristina yesterday including the arrest of suspects involved in the murder of journalist Sefki Popova. Police officers aided by 290 KFOR soldiers carried out raids in thirteen different places arresting 25 persons including 16 women. "The majority of arrests were for misdemeanours but three of those arrested have been accused of serious crimes, including murder", said the statement from the UN police. The statement concluded by saying that an investigation was underway but that official indictments had not yet been issued.


LESKOVAC, October 16, 2000 - The local branch of the Serbian Renewal Movement in Leskovac yesterday assessed that the "DOSification" of media in Serbia had created new Television Serbia, new Tanjug, new Politika, new Vecernje novosti and new local media.

The statement issued by the Leskovac branch of the Serbian Renewal Movement said that around 150 journalists from Borba, who were sacked in 1995 on the orders of Brcin and Ivan Markovic, had not been returned to work. "We expect those who made the only independent daily in Serbia in 1995 to be allowed to fulfill their rights without being obstructed by this mysterious Crisis Headquarters", the statement continues.

The Serbian Renewal Movement also stated that it expected the stockholders of Politika AD to be able to appoint their directors and editors themselves. "The Renewal Movement appeals against the new nationalisation of Politika AD planned by the Radicals and the Socialists, nor does it agree with allowing the Democratic Opposition of Serbia to choose this house's management instead of the stockholders. We must not allow one injustice to be replaced by another," concludes the statement reported by FoNet.


ZAGREB, October 16, 2000 - Under the patronage of the International Press Institute, a founding conference of the South East European Media Organisation (SEEMO) was held in Zagreb yesterday. The aim of the organisation is to improve pluralism and to encourage the free exchange of information and cooperation between different media in the region.

The one day conference was attended by representatives from news agencies, print and electronic media and media institutes from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Rumania and Yugoslavia. At the conference, editor-in-chief of the Beta agency Ljubica Markovic and director of the Albanian news agency ATA Frok Cupi were elected coordinators of all participating news agencies, director of Rumanian Radio Dragos Seuleanu was elected coordinator for electronic media and president of the Belgrade daily Danas Managing Board Radomir Licina for printed media. Oliver Vujovic, Belgrade correspondent for the Austrian daily Die Press, was elected secretary-general of the organisation.

Membership of the South East European Media Organisation is open to all journalists in the region who support the freedom of information, the conference concluded.

Yugoslav media were represented at the conference by Executive Director of Radio Index Milan Pavlovix, Director of Ekonomist magazine Mijat Lakicevic, Director of Radio B2-92 Sasa Mirkovic, Director of Radio Kontakt Zvonko Tarle, Editor-in-Chief of Montena television Koca Pavlovic and Director of the Montena-fax agency Stevo Vucinic.


BELGRADE, October 16, 2000 - Aleksandar Tijanic resigned from the position of acting director of Politika AD on Saturday, while Darko Ribnikar, the Politika correspondent from New York, refused the offered position of editor-in-chief, Belgrade daily Danas writes today. Politika writes that both men were appointed to these positions on Friday by the media house's Managing Board presided over by Dragan Tomic, President of the Serbian Parliament and the director of Jugopetrol. Their appointments were also confirmed by the Stockholder Assembly headed by Jara Ribnikar.

The Politika Temporary Business Committee described the appointment of Tijanic as the result of "clumsy moves made by certain individuals who would like to resume old practices in new times."

In a statement for Danas, member of the Politika AD Temporary Business Committee Slobodan Aleksandric said that it was essential to urgently change the make-up of the Managing Board and the Stockholder Assembly whose task it was to appoint the director of the house in order to overcome the current crisis. Aleksandric said that they currently consisted of those loyal to Slobodan Milosevic and Dragan Hadzi Antic. He said that the wish of the majority of employees was that Darko Ribnikar be appointed director. According to legal procedures, the director of the house is appointed by the Managing Board, and he then in turn appoints the editors. Aleksandric said he was surprised that nobody from DOS or the Stockholder Assembly had contacted the Temporary Business Committee over the weekend.

Tijanic left a letter explaining his resignation addressed to the Crisis Headquarters, the house's union, the Managing Board and the Stockholder Assembly on the Politika desk on Saturday. In a statement made to daily Politika, Tijanic said that the director's position had been proposed to him by "two DOS leaders, one of whom was in charge of media". He emphasised that he had demanded that he and his counter-candidate (Darko Ribnikar) come to Politika as a team. Tijanic accused his former colleagues of not distancing themselves from the television and press comments of six months ago in which he had been accused of "personally murdering Federal Defence Minister Pavle Bulatovic". Tijanic was sacked from Politika in 1993, after seventeen years service.

In a letter published in Politika, Darko Ribnikar claimed that he had refused the position of editor-in-chief because he believed that the "Tijanic-Ribnikar" package was devised by political forces "intent on preserving control over Politika and thus preventing their somewhat successfully launched return to the honourable members of the journalist profession". Ribnikar said that many Politika employees had urged him to help them by "taking over the leading position in the house" and that with the help of the house and all the houses in Serbia pledging for the new liberated Serbia he was ready to accept such a gigantic and responsible task. However, Ribnikar emphasised that the package he was offered and the people who offered it, made that currently impossible.

The Temporary Business Committee also denied having barred Aleksandar Tijanic from entering the Politika building.


JAGODINA, October 16, 2000 - A facility housing the Jagodina Radio Television K 21 transmitter was set on fire on the slopes of Crni Vrh last night. According to the proprietor of this media house, Perica Stepanovic, somebody broke into the premises first, setting fire to the building thus destroying all the equipment in it. Police investigated the scene early this morning, but no official statement has yet been issued.

Perica Stepanovic said that Jagodina K 21 mainly broadcast sports and entertainment programmes in the past, opening up its programming during the election campaign to parties participating in the elections. During the election crisis Jagodina K 21 also rebroadcast programmes produced by ANEM and other independent production houses.

This is not the first incident of this kind in Jagodina. In August this year the home of Jagodina weekly Stampa editor-in-Chief Goran Milanovic was also set on fire. Police found the arsonists, but it remains unknown to this very day who paid them to carry out the arson.


BELGRADE, October 16, 2000 - Editor of Television Politika film programming Slavenko Bojovic responded today to accusations made by film distributors that he violated copyright. In today's issue of Belgrade daily Danas, Bojovic accused leading film distributors and film programming editors from certain television media of gaining capital through video piracy and of creating respectable companies out of that capital as well as obtaining awards for quality programming.

"The most respectable film editor in the country, currently the president of the Anti-piracy Association," Bojovic claimed, "once showed the pirate version of 'Forrest Gump' on television, before its premiere in the US."

Bojovic has accused film distributors of monopolising business dealings which prevented television from having quality film programming, since they purchased good films only for cinema and video, but not for television.

Bojovic explained that, after meeting lawyers and representatives of the Ministry for Culture, in accordance with the Cinematography Act, the former directors of Politika AD and Television Politika legalised the broadcast of certain films by paying a "stamp" to the Ministry, thus creating a situation where viewers could see films for which nobody had a copyright in Yugoslavia on Television Politika.

Bojovic emphasised that he had been against the broadcasting of the Hollywood Oscar winner Matrix on Television Politika on March 31 this year, two weeks before its Yugoslav cinema premiere. According to Bojovic, this film was brought from the video club on orders from the editor of Television Politika.


BELGRADE, October 17, 2000 -DOS leader Goran Svilanovic told BK Television yesterday that he stepped down from the Crisis Headquarters, where he was in charge of media, because his proposals for Aleksandar Tijanic as director and Darko Ribnikar as
editor-in-chief were not accepted, FoNet reports.


BELGRADE, October 17, 2000 - Journalists from Vecernje novosti have appointed Manojlo Vukotic as temporary coordinator of the daily's editorial collegium, the daily's staff stated yesterday. The statement issued yesterday specifies that at a secret ballot Vukotic obtained 98 votes compared with 42 votes for his opponent Dragan Bogutovic. "This is a great historical opportunity marking the return of Novosti to its traditional belief, that of being a one party daily, the party of the readers," Vukotic said after his appointment. Vukotic emphasised that Vecernje novosti would not belong to any one party, but that they would belong to themselves.


PODGORICA, October 17, 2000 - Editor-in-Chief of Montenegrin Television Velibor Covic has asked the president of the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists to thank all journalists and media houses, "as well as hundreds of thinking people from Serbia" who cooperated with Montenegrin state television over the past years.

"Believing that many independent journalists will take on the responsibility for the democratisation of the most influential media in Serbia, Montenegrin Television fully expects the establishment of new forms of cooperation, aimed at the honourable and prosperous living of the Montenegrin and Serbia people, regardless of all eventual possible forms of the state and legal status of Serbia and Montenegro," said Covic's letter to Gordana Susa. The editor-in-chief of Montenegrin Television stated that this house had broadcast the complete production of VIN, Mreza and ANEM over the last several years, as well as the programme "Objektiv", dedicated to events in Serbia via satellite.


BELGRADE, October 17, 2000 - Mayor of Pirot Aleksandar Manojlovic and the director of city info company Sloboda, Boban Nikolic, yesterday welcomed the change in editorial policy in state and pro-government media in Belgrade, but called on the leadership of that media to hire new correspondents in Pirot, because the current ones had been reporting in "an unprofessional and unbiased manner" for several years.

Manojlovic and Nikolic added that it would be a waste of time to attempt to list all the lies uttered in the capital's media against the Zajedno for Pirot coalition, which governed the town in the previous mandate.

CACAK, October 17, 2000 - Editor-in-Chief of Radio Cacak Mira Maslarevic and her deputy Nada Hadzimurtezic have resigned in protest at the recent confiscation of local Television S equipment and its subsequent removal to Television Cacak. Television Cacak was founded by the local parliament.


BELGRADE, October 18, 2000 - The Politika AD Managing Board is expected to hold a session today to elect the new director of this media house, Slobodan Aleksandric, member of Politika's Temporary Business Team and newly-elected member of the Managing Board told Danas.

According to Aleksandric, Politika employees have demanded that Darko Ribnikar, Politika correspondent from New York, be appointed the new director. "Ninety-five per cent of the workers have voted for him," Aleksandric said. In addition to Aleksandric, the Managing Board includes President of the Serbian Parliament Dragan Tomic, Radmila Cvetkovic on behalf of the Postal Service, director of the Politika printing shop Nedeljko Kovacevic, and Ljubomir Mihajlovic, director of the Commercial Bank. Aleksandric was elected member of the Board at yesterday's editorial meeting, in place of Djordje Martic, former editor of Politika ekspres who resigned the day before. The Board is short of one member to replace Dragan Hadzi Antic, who recently resigned from his position as Politika's general director. "We expect the current members of the Board also to resign at the first session," Aleksandric said. According to Politika's Statute, the general director appoints editors of various editions.


CACAK, October 18, 2000 - Commenting on the resignations of Radio Cacak editor-in-chief Mira Maslarevic and her deputy Nada Hadzimurtezic, officially filed in protest at the break-in to Television S premises and the subsequent confiscation of equipment, which was removed to Television Cacak and incorporated into this television's system, Belgrade daily Danas, quoting informed local sources, today writes that the background to the whole affair lies in "problems regarding the distribution of funds obtained by Television Cacak from foreign television houses, which paid for the footage of the Ibar Highway on October 5".

Danas writes that the total sum is rumoured to amount to 11,000 German marks and is reported to have been divided amongst the employees. The employees of Radio Cacak and daily Cacanski glas rebelled against this form of distribution.

Dragan Glipovic, director of Cacanski glas told Danas that more information would be available when the Managing Board had been convened.


BELGRADE, October 18, 2000 - The office of the heir to the throne Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic today objected to misinformation from the Tanjug news agency about the number of people who greeted the heir to the throne in Cacak, Gornji Milanovac, Lazarevac, Kragujevac and Kraljevo during his recent visit to Yugoslavia. Quoting Tanjug information published in today's Politika, a statement issued by Prince Aleksandar's office emphasises that it is often very difficult to make a realistic evaluation, but that there can be no question of a mistake "when the number of those present is systematically reduced by ten to fifteen times". The statement claimed that the practice of "deceiving the public" which had been until recently Tanjug's forte when it came to events unsuitable for the former authorities, appeared not to have changed.


BELGRADE, October 18, 2000 - The radical change in editorial policy carried out by state and pro-regime media in Serbia has not lead to the full professionalisation of those media, states a report published by the Media Centre and Strategic Marketing based on the monitoring of the most influential media between October 6 and 12, Beta reports.

The monitors observed the process of "a mass cleaning up" of the biographies of those journalists and editors who until recently drastically violated all the criteria of their profession. The report cites the case of the new photography editor of Vecernje novosti,
Ratko Radetic, who "personally demanded that two photographs from the left election rally in Berane be merged," as now claiming that his intention was to cause outrage and not to present a larger crowd.

The report also states that Pero Simic, the man who sued four of his colleagues for the damage to the honour and reputation of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is now the author of a series of articles in Novosti entitled "The Fall of the Monarch from Dedinje".

The most professional electronic media was deemed Television YU Info, whose founder was the Federal government. Radio Television Serbia, it was stated, broadcast programmes prepared in highly irregular technical conditions, by journalists lacking in experience.


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 - DOS leaders began talks last night regarding the appointment of the coalition's representatives in the transitional Serbian government. Democratic Party President Zoran Djindjic told the press that there would be no problems about the distribution of portfolios held by DOS in the transitional Serbian government. Beta learnt from DOS sources that the DOS seat in the Ministry of Information would be offered to the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists.


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 -The Serbian Journalist Association today called on all its members to gather at an early session scheduled for October 28 and "put an end to servile journalism and turn a new, clean, bright page in history". Association members were urged to participate in the early session "in defence and renewal of their guild association, which should represent the vital interests of the profession in accordance with the ethics of the journalist vocation".


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 - Member of the Radio Television Studio B temporary management team Jugoslav Pantelic stated today that the majority of employees in this media house supported the appointment of Slobodan Orlic to director and editor-in-chief of Studio B, Beta reports. Pantelic added, however, that the "final word on the appointment belonged to the Studio B Managing Board", which should be appointed by the City Assembly. Slobodan Orlic was former journalist of BK Television and Studio B. He was also the vice-president of Social Democracy, one of the members of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia.

Slobodan Orlic stated that he would accept the position if the Managing Board agreed to his appointment.


NOVI SAD, October 19, 2000 - The Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists has sent an open letter to Novi Sad head of police General Marinko Kresoja requesting that he order the public destruction of all criminal files opened on arrested journalists, Otpor activists, their mothers and supporters, Beta reports today.

"Members of your police force entered apartments without warrants, arrested young people and opened files on them as if they were criminals, thieves, and terrorists," said the letter. The Association stated that until it received a reply from General Kresoja, this
letter would be published in every issue of Novi Sad daily Nezavisni.


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 - Radio Television Serbia yesterday began rebroadcasting the Montenegrin state television evening prime time news programme on its second channel. Beta was told by the Radio Televison Serbia info section that the Montenegrin news programme was not rebroadcast in agreement with either the management of that media or the Montenegrin state management.


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 - Imprisoned Albanian poet Flora Brovina is to be released from custody within the next 48 hours, President of the Serbian PEN Center, Predrag Palavestra, said today quoting "reliable sources". The Serbian and International PEN Centers have lobbied Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica for the release of Brovina who was imprisoned last year on charges of having conspired in terrorist activities.


BELGRADE, October 19, 2000 - A list of former Vecernje novosti management salaries was put up on the daily's bulletin board yesterday, Belgrade daily Glas javnosti writes today. According to this list, acting editor-in-chief Dusan Cukic received 116,000 dinars in August. Cukic's assistants Ilija Zurovac and Ivan Pajdic received 80,000, and 40,000 dinars respectively. Coordinator of the Novosti editorial team Manojlo Vukotic said that he had not yet had the opportunity to see the rest of the employees' salaries but had immediately made public the salaries he had discovered to date.


BELGRADE, October 20, 2000 - The Independent Association of Serbian Journalists today announced their acceptance of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia's offer to appoint its representative of the transitional republic government in a joint Information portfolio. The Association's Executive Committee unanimously voted for long time journalist, daily Politika analyst and President of the Association's Court of Honour Biserka Matic.


BELGRADE, October 20, 2000 - The Belgrade Commercial Court has decided to launch a procedure to evaluate conditions for the liquidation of the federal public company Borba, acting president of the court Goran Kljajevic told Beta today. The decision to launch the procedure was made by the Court Liquidation Council which yesterday established temporary security measures restricting the rights of Borba director Zivorad Djordjevic and all other authorised persons thus terminating all payments from accounts ordered by the said persons. The Council appointed Manojlo Vukotic as temporary Borba representative.


BELGRADE, October 20, 2000 - General director of the Srbijasume company Milan Rodic told a press conference yesterday that the Srbijasume 92 television station was created with the aim of educating the young and producing programmes which would deal mainly with ecology, Radio B92 reports.

Rodic said that a group of people from the Belgrade Youth Council had approached Srbijasume proposing a deal with this company in order to create a television station, because although they possessed the equipment, they did not have adequate financial assets. When asked whether he knew that the equipment which the people from the Youth Council claimed was theirs, was in fact the subject of a court case at the time, Rodic replied, "I did not know that, in fact I didn't talk with them at all. My associates did that and all they told me was that the Youth Council had approached them with a proposal so I said we could talk to them and decide whether to support them and invest money in their plans for this television station". Rodic said that the television station was not political and he considered it a shame that it had closed down. Rodic concluded by proposing that B92 staff and Srbijasume resume work on this ecological television together.

The Belgrade Youth Council took over Radio B92 during the NATO bombing and confiscated the radio and television equipment belonging to this station and the Association of Independent Electronic Media.


PANCEVO, October 20, 2000 - Radio Pancevo will shortly resume broadcasting at an FM frequency covering the same territory as before. Members of the Belgrade police Communication Bureau yesterday returned the media house's stolen transmitter, worth more than 50,000 German marks, which mysteriously disappeared on May 17 from Milica Hill near Belgrade.

According to Radio Televison Pancevo's lawyer Goran Matic, the members of the Belgrade police who returned the transmitter said that they had only been authorised to hand over the equipment and not to release any information.


BELGRADE, October 20, 2000 - An early session of the Association of Serbian Journalists, described as the first at which the journalists will make decisions for themselves, has been scheduled for October 28 at 10 a.m, daily Danas reports today.

The reasons for this initiative were stated to be the compromising of the Association, its subordination to former Radio Television Serbia management, and the implementation of narrow party interests, which have disgraced this 120 year old association.

Nino Brajovic, member of the Initiative Board which scheduled the early session, told Danas that the Managing Board of this association did not have any legitimacy, because it was appointed through election fraud at the Election Assembly in Smederevo in 1996, neither was it legal since its four-year mandate had expired in June. Brajovic described the Managing Board as being "servile to power centers" and supporting the "worst inquisition-style Public Information Act ever".

One of the reasons for this initiative was also the association's silence on the violence exerted against journalism and journalists, and a wish to "allow the principled not to be ashamed without reason, and the unprincipled to face the consequences of their actions".


BELGRADE, October 20, 2000 - The Belgrade Commercial Court has found the inclusion of Aleksandar Nikacevic as director and authorised representative of Radio B92 into the court register, carried out on April 1 1999, groundless, thus validating the earlier entry of Sasa Mirkovic as director and authorised representative.

The Belgrade Commercial Court ruled that the inclusion of Aleksandar Nikacevic into the register had been carried out according to the Statute of the Belgrade Youth Council, which was not authorised to adopt such a statute, nor was the Statute adopted in accordance with the previous, still valid Statute.

The decision of the Commercial Court was preceded by the decision from the Belgrade Youth Council Executive Committee to annul the Statute adopted on March 30 1999, as well as the appointment of Aleksandar Nikacevic as the radio's director.

Radio B92 employees expect a successful conclusion to the remaining court procedures launched for the protection of their rights and the return of their equipment.

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