katarina on Thu, 1 Apr 1999 21:18:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Syndicate: B92 statemen

>Our slogan used to be "Don't trust anyone, not even us". To this we have
>now added "... but keep the faith"
>Belgrade -- April 1, 1999
>On March 24, 1999 secretary-general of NATO issued the order to attack
>Yugoslavia. Four hours later Radio B92's transmissions were banned and
>essential transmission equipment confiscated. B92 Editor-in-Chief Veran
>Matic was detained without explanation and without an opportunity to
>contact his family or lawyers. He was released eight hours later, again
>without explanation and without having been questioned.
>War has been declared in Yugoslavia. Sources of information are drying up.
>B92 has continued to broadcast around the clock on the Internet and two
>satellites and via a number of stations in neighbouring countries. B92's
>news services in Serbian and English are getting more than a million hits a
>day from people downloading our information. By producing programs and
>distributing them to the heartland via satellite and local rebroadcasting,
>we have managed to preserve ANEM, the Association of Independent Electronic
>Coverage from Kosovo is now completely impossible. Our principled position
>on the Kosovo tragedy has been known throughout the world for a long time
>and it has not changed one iota. We are sad to report that our prediction
>that NATO bombing could only cause a drastic exacerbation of the
>humanitarian catastrophe has proved true.
>Operating in war conditions involves enormous risks and we are prepared to
>run those risks until we are physically prevented from doing this job.
>Visits from the police almost daily and hours of questioning indicate that
>increased repression is possible in the future. The introduction of courts
>martial and threats to bring back the death penalty not only aggravate the
>psychosis but present a clear and immediate danger.
>People are leaving the country in droves, but we believe that someone must
>remain to pick up the pieces of the democratic processes when the war is
>over. Many achievements on the democratic front have now been destroyed.
>Somebody with the will and the ability to build democratic institutions
>must remain. Foremost among those institutions are the independent media
>which are the basis for any democratic change and reform.
>It is precisely for this reason that we salute all the initiatives
>throughout the world for the support of Radio B92 and other independent
>media. (Among these we must specifically mention help.b92.xs4all.nl.)
>Permanent support is essential to us.
>Radio B92 has received numerous awards for the solidarity it has offered to
>others. Now B92 itself is in need of that same solidarity.