by way of Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 28 Apr 1999 08:59:27 +0100

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Syndicate: <nettime> ANEM notice: TV Soko editor imprisoned

ANEM press release

TV Soko editor imprisoned

BELGRADE, April 27 -- ANEM, the Association of Independent Electronic Media in
Yugoslavia protests strongly at the one-year prison sentence handed down to
Nebojsa Ristic, the editor of TV Soko in Sokobanja, eastern Serbia.

On April 23 the Sokobanja District Court found Mr Ristic guilty of
disseminating false information under Article 218 of the Penal Code of the
Republic of Serbia, after he publicly displayed a poster ìFree Press Made in
Serbia!î with a Radio B92 stamp.

The District Court in Sokobanja declared that Mr Ristic had ìprovoked unrest
among citizens and caused them to mistrust the decisions of state agenciesî.

Mr Ristic is currently in detention pending proceedings.  His lawyers filed an
appeal against the sentence in the Zajecar District Court on April 26.

It appears that the closure of TV Soko by the Yugoslav Federal
Telecommunications Ministry on March 27 falls short of the aims of the
authorities, who have now chosen to persecute the stationís editor personally.

ANEM protests at the misuse of misdemeanour regulations to justify a one-year
prison sentence in a case involving a poster which did not display ìenemy
propagandaî.  ANEM has warned on a number of occasions that Article 218 of the
Republic of Serbiaís Penal Code is poorly and broadly worded, allowing the
arbitrary prosecution of journalists.

In its protests at the assassination of Slavko Curuvija, the bombing of the
Usce Business Centre and the tragic deaths of eight of its colleagues in the
attack on Radio Television Serbia, ANEM has expressed the hope that attacks on
journalists would cease, regardless of who committed them.  ANEM regrets that
the local powers of Sokobanja appear to have decided on a brutal confrontation
with TV Soko and its editor.

ANEM demands that the District Court in Zajecar cancel the shameful and
unreasonable sentence on Nebojsa Ristic.  ANEM notes that it is exactly such
sentences and other similar measures by state agencies which spread fear and
unrest among the population.  ANEM also demands that all forms of repression
against journalists and media be stopped, regardless of who initiates them.

Veran Matic,

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