marko peljhan on Tue, 6 Apr 1999 03:25:36 +0200 (CEST)

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April 4, 1999

Urgent appeal to the Governments
Defend democracy!

The war in Kosov@ led to the expulsion of tens, even hundreds of thousands
human beings and to the destruction of the whole region. Specially
kosov@-albanian intellectuals, activists of human rights organisations and
independent media are exposed to the rage of Serbian units without any
protection.  They hardly find any alternative to escape if they want to survive
this war. Some successfully made their way to Albania, Macedonia or Montenegro
in the meantime, but many are still missing or still stay in Pristina.

But also the opposition in Serbia is put under massive pressure by the warfare.
The regime of Slobodan Milosevic uses the benefit of war-hours, to start a real
hunt against the opposition: independent media are being closed down, activists
of human rights and peace organisations are forcefully drafted for the army.
The aim is obvious: all civil, dissident-thinking shall be silenced under the
carpet of Nato-bombs.  Examples of this state repression we see in the
persecution of Serbian police against Veran Matic, editor in chief of Belgrade
Radio B92, and the replacement of Sascha Mirkovic, director of B92, by a fellow
of Milosevic.  The names of all people working at B92 were registered by
police. Many of them do not dare anymore to spend the night at home. Also the
archive of the Humanitarian Law Fund was confiscated. The director, Ms.
Natascha Kandic, was questioned by the police. The Fund has courageously
struggled in the last years against human rights violations in Kosov@ and
prepared the needed documents for the war crimes tribunal in Den Haag.

Even in Montenegro, where the democratic forces today still constitute the
legally elected government, we have to fear for the future of the democratic
forces. Should Milosevic succeed to overthrow the government of Mr. Milo
Djukanovic, also in Montenegro the hunting for representatives of the
democratic forces will start.

We are strongly convinced, that the repressed democratic, dissident civic
forces in Kosov@ and in Serbia are the only guarantee for freedom, security and
stability in the Balkans. Only the consistent support of these movements and
the complete isolation of Milosevic and other responsible war mongers can on
the longer run calm down the situation and lead to a democratic solution of the
conflicts. Milosevic is part of the problem, not part of the solution.  This
finally has to be accepted also by the representatives of international
politics and diplomacy. The solution is: Consistent use of all civil means to
strengthen the civil forces struggling for human rights and democracy all over
the area.

We request

·       from the government of Switzerland and other countries, to open up
immediately the doors of their embassies and consulates for representatives and
activists of independent media and dissident civic organisations as women- and
peace-groups, human rights organisations and others. They have to be provided
with diplomatic protection and if needed with a secure exit out of their

·       the same protection for all men in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
who try to escape the warfare of this regime and the forced drafts by objection
and resistance.

·       from the Swiss government specially to offer these people from the
Kosov@, from Serbia and eventually from Montenegro a permanent Round Table in
Switzerland, to allow the continuos work of civil resistance movements against
the Milosevic regime till the day they can go back and go on with their work in
security in their own country.

Roland Brunner, Medienhilfe Ex-Jugoslawien
Medienhilfe Ex-Jugoslawien, PO Box, CH 8031 Zurich, Switzerland.
Tel +41/ (0)1 / 272 46 37  Mobile +41/ (0)79/445 47 17 - Fax +41/ (0)1 /
272 46 82  -  Mail: //

Medienhilfe Ex-Jugoslawien, Postfach -  CH 8031 Zürich
Tel. +41 / (0)1 /272 46 37; Fax  +41 / (0)1 /272 46 82    ///

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