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<nettime> Radio B92 closed, Veran Matic arrested
Drazen Pantic on Wed, 24 Mar 1999 10:42:11 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Radio B92 closed, Veran Matic arrested


GLOBAL BEAT ALERT:

Radio B92, leading independent media source in Serbia, is shut down; Editor
in Chief Veran Matic taken into custody.
****************************************************

While Serbia prepares for the expected NATO bombing, police have shut down
Serbia's leading independent media outlet, Radio B92
(http://www.opennet.org/index.html).

Drazen Pantic, founder and former director of OpenNet, Radio B92's Internet
department, recounts tonite's events as of 2:50 am, local time in Belgrade:

"Tonight at 2:50a.m. two technicians from the Federal Ministry for
Telecommunications accompanied by 10 policemen entered the premises of B-92
and ordered the immediate closing of the radio.  Police ordered all
journalists to step back from their computers and mobile phones. When Veran
Matic, editor in chief, entered the radio, police took him into custody
without any explanation.  He has not returned since."

"The official explanation is that Radio B92 has overpowered its
transmission."

Radio B92 in Belgrade has been the most important voice of independent media
in Serbia throughout the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and also coordinates
the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM), an association of 33
radio and18 television stations in Yugoslavia. Since its founding in 1989 as
Serbiašs first independent station, B92 has developed its own Internet
center (OpenNet); a book and magazine publishing department; a cultural
center, an award-winning film and video department; and a CD label which
features the music of young Yugoslav artists.

Veran Matic founded Radio B92, Serbia's first independent station, in May
1989. The station was subsequently banned several times, but has managed to
continue broadcasting throughout the nine years of its existence. Radio B92
broadcasts a mix of new, information programs, call-in shows, entertainment
and music 24 hours a day. Its news programs form the core of the ANEM Radio
Network's programming, which provides independent news to listeners in
upwards of 70 per cent of Yugoslavia. In addition to serving as B92's
editor-in-chief, Matic also chairs ANEM, and is executive director of the
International Committee for the Protection of Independent Media in
Yugoslavia, FREE 2000.

For more information on the recent crackdowns on independent media in
Serbia, including in Kosovo:

END
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