katarina zivanovic on Thu, 18 May 2000 12:46:17 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] RADIO B2-92 (satellite position, Internet audio links)

17.05.00 BELGRADE, Wednesday - In a surprise raid at about 0200 CET this 
morning the Serbian Government seized control of Belgrade City broadcaster 
Studio B, closing down its news program. The attack also pulled the plug on 
independent Radio B2-92 in Belgrade, which broadcasts on Studio B's third 
frequency. A statement released this morning over the signatures of Deputy 
Serbian Prime Ministers Vojislav Seselj, the leader of the Serbian Radical 
Party and Milovan Bojic, a prominent member of the Yugoslav Left, said that 
the Republic of Serbia had taken control of Studio B because the station 
had repeatedly called for the overthrow of the Serbian Government. The 
director and editor-in-chief of Studio B, Dragan Kojadinovic, a member of 
the Serbian Renewal Movement, described the act as the completely illegal 
take-over of the Belgrade's municipal broadcaster, adding that it 
demonstrated that the government was virtually introducing a state of 
emergency in the country.
Internet audio links will be announced soon on http://www.freeB92.net

BELGRADE, May 17, 2000 -- The Association of Independent Electronic Media 
protests in the strongest terms at the police raid and seizure of the 
largest free broadcaster in Serbia, Belgrade's Studio B. ANEM urges the 
public to do all in its power to stop this illegal act.
The raid on Studio B's premises occurred at 2.00 a.m. A large number of 
police completely blocked the Beogradjanka building in central Belgrade 
where the broadcaster is located. A recorded message was broadcast on 
Studio B informing the public that the Serbian Government had resolved to 
take over the public broadcaster Studio B which was controlled by the 
Belgrade Municipality. The resolution quoted a demand from the Serbian 
Information Ministry to take over Studio B because frequent calls for the 
violent overthrow of the constitutional order had been made on the 
station's programs.
The Serbian Government said that the legal grounds for the resolution was 
that Studio B was state-owned and that the state had decided to take direct 
control of "its own property" and remove all proprietary rights from the 
hands of the Belgrade Municipality.
The Serbian Government also resolved to dismiss the management of Studio B 
and appoint Ljuboslav Aleksic editor-in-chief of the station. The 
resolution instructs Studio B to continue broadcasting as a company wholly 
owned and operated by the Serbian Government. The Serbian Government Decree 
was signed by Deputy Serbian Prime Ministers Milovan Bojic and Vojislav Seselj.
ANEM described this unprecedented move as lacking even any pretence at 
legal justification. The Serbian Government's resolution is 
unconstitutional and illegal and its only goal is to prevent the operation 
of the largest and most influential broadcaster in Serbia which is not 
under control of the regime.
In taking over Studio B the Serbian Government has also prevented the 
operation of Radio B2-92 which, after three bans and a regime takeover, had 
leased a radio frequency from Studio B and premises in the same building.
The building also houses student broadcaster Radio Index and the 
influential non-government daily Blic. This raid has thus left Belgrade in 
complete media darkness, with almost no radio or television station not 
under government control.
ANEM has made an urgent appeal to the public to do everything possible to 
help prevent a complete media blackout and open dictatorship in Serbia. We 
call on all democratic forces in Serbia to unconditionally unite their 
forces in the defence of the basic freedom of speech and information.
Press contact:
tel.: +361 475 0704 / 361 353 4598
email: visitb92@pronet.hu

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