geert lovink on Thu, 9 Mar 2000 22:34:29 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] ANEM press release: Pozarevac Radio Boom 93 off the air again

subject: ANEM press release: Pozarevac Radio Boom 93 off the air again

BELGRADE, March 8, 2000 - The Association of Independent Electronic media
today protested strongly at the new closing of Radio Boom 93. The station is
one of ANEM's founding members.

Boom 93 was closed down today by inspectors from the Yugoslav
Telecommunications Ministry who delivered a note from Minister Ivan Markovic
demanding that the station cease broadcasting on March 8 because it had not
met conditions for a frequency licence.

The inspector seized an essential component of the station's transmitter
system, saying that they would send the appropriate banning and confiscation
order subsequently.

The father of the station's owner was taken to the Pozarevac police station
for interrogation. He was released an hour later after being questioned
about the location of the station's transmitter, which the inspectors had
failed to find.

The inspectors left the station after sealing the antenna system used for
Boom 93 transmissions, although no such measure is prescribed in
telecommunications regulations.

ANEM notes that Radio Boom 93 has been banned on a number of occasions since
its launch in 1992. Boom 93 is the only independent station in Pozarevac,
the home town of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and a thorn in his
regime's side.

Several days before the station was last banned, on November 22, 1996, the
president's sun Marko burst into the studios and threatened the owner with a
gun, saying that he would kill him because of things the station had
broadcast about his father.

ANEM describes this closure as another demonstration that the regime has
embarked on a campaign to bring media to heel by the spring. The fact that
the inspectors in this case were in constant telephone communication with
the minister and his assistant testifies that this is another instance of
political persecution of media outside the state's control, rather than the
closing of a station for "technical reasons'.

ANEM also protests at the interrogation of the station owner's father,
describing this as an attempt to achieve the regime's aims through illegal
pressure and intimidation and gross abuse of police authority.

This is the first time a station has been banned and its equipment
confiscated without the inspectors carrying an appropriate banning and
confiscation order. This means that, if the order is not subsequently
provided, the station will deprived of the right to legal appeal.

ANEM will do all in its power to assist Radio Boom 93. The Association also
demands that the station's confiscated equipment be restored and that it be
permitted to resume its normal operations.

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