Geert Lovink on Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:46:27 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> NATO bombs broadcasters in Yugoslavia

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Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 15:16:43 +0200 (CEST)

ANEM press release
Precedence: bulk

Censorship from the skies

NATO bombs broadcasters in Yugoslavia

BELGRADE, April 21, 1999 -- ANEM, the Association of Independent
Electronic Media in Yugoslavia, condemns last night's NATO attack on the
Usce Business Centre in New Belgrade. This building houses a number of
radio and television stations, among other commercial tenants. ANEM points
out that this building is clearly a civilian facility and can in no way be
regarded as a military target.

ANEM believes that one reason for this attack was that most of the
broadcasters in the building produced and transmitted their programs from
the building itself. In line with its advocacy of the broadest possible
media freedom, ANEM protests most sternly at this destruction of media

ANEM has always opposed any form of censorship. Its struggle against the
Yugoslav authorities' repression of independent news media is well known to
the public, both domestic and international.

The media in Yugoslavia are now in double jeopardy as they face NATO's
žbomber censorshipÓ in addition to closures by the government.

ANEM will exert any influence it can to avert similar actions by NATO in
the future.

ANEM emphasises that the dissemination of information cannot be stopped by
sheer repression. This applies equally to information which is regarded as
untrue or propagandistic. This ability of information to reach its audience
has been demonstrated by the closures of ANEM affiliates over the past year
and will continue to be demonstrated as NATO bombs media outlets and the
Yugoslav authorities continue to close and take over ANEM's affiliated
radio and television stations. Far from stemming the flow of information,
such repression and force actually make the information more attractive to
the audience at which it is targetted.

ANEM notes with relief that last night's attack on the Usce Business
Centre did not result in casualties, but warns that casualties are
inevitable if such attacks continue. ANEM therefore calls for an immediate
halt to all repression of the media, whether it be from local political
interference or foreign military intervention.

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