mediawatch on 12 Sep 2000 04:48:12 -0000

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<nettime> With the elections in Yugoslavia coming up, read this.

ANEM press release


BELGRADE, September 10, 2000 - The Association of Independent
Electronic Media protests against the harassment and torture of
political opponents, the increasing use of brutal intervention in the
political arena and the spread of violence in Serbia.   

In the last two days, serious incidents have occurred in Vladicin Han
and Belgrade.  In the Vladicin Han police station on the night of
Friday September 8, police officers tied Otpor activists Marko
Pejakovic, Davorin Popovic, Vladica Mircic, Aca Radic and Milos
Kitanovic by their feet to the ceiling before beating them on the
genitals, feet, head and kidneys. The activists were released after
three hours, during which time several hundred local residents had
gathered in front of the police station and the father of one of the
abused men, Stanisa Kitanovic, had announced that he would press
charges against the Police Inspector Goran Markovic, officer Goran
Trajkovic and the local police chief, Radivoje Stojimenovic.

On Saturday September 9, at about midday, seven unknown people burst
into the Otpor movement's premises in Knez Mihailova Street in central
Belgrade.  They searched the premises, rummaging through office desks,
and kicked activist Milos Milenkovic several times.  Otpor does not
know whether the men were police or not.    

ANEM also notes the horrifying fact that, more than two weeks after
former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic disappeared, police have still
not issued any statement on his disappearance or their investigation.
Nor have the police discovered who was driving a truck crashed into a
Serbian Renewal Movement convoy on the Ibar highway last year, killing
four party officials.  Nor have they released any information on the
murder of journalist Slavko Curuvija in April last year.  The same
police are now treating the regime's political opponents in this
brutal manner.  It is also horrifying that while these criminals go
undetected and unpunished, the poet Flora Brovina and journalist
Miroslav Filipovic are serving sentences in Serbian prisons.

Serbia has plunged deeply into violence: any form of political
activism, even one as innocuous as putting up election posters, has
become highly dangerous.  ANEM appeals to the authorised bodies to do
everything in their power to prevent the further brutalisation of
political life and the spread of violence in Serbia.  The Association
also calls on the Serbian police to finally respond and see that the
abuse of citizens by uniformed officers, as in this latest incident in
Vladicin Han, is never repeated in Serbia.  ANEM also calls on the
public to show as much solidarity as possible with those under threat
and to assist them in any similar case.  This is the only way in which
people can protect their own lives and the lives of their families
who, sooner or later, will become victims of this spiral of violence.

Veran Matic,
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