The Vienna-based South East Europe organization (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns political and business pressure on media in Serbia, which is particularly pronounced in small towns. The latest victim is Timocka Televizija, a regional TV station based in Zajecar, South East Serbia.
SEEMO was informed that studio guests who provide information or comments on the operations of the copper mining complex RTB Bor receive verbal or telephone threats. They are warned that they will be beaten if they criticise the RTB Bor management. People are scared to appear on TV, SEEMO has learned. Furthermore, if a special program is announced in which RTB Bor may be mentioned, Bor authorities disable the land transmission of the broadcaster. This way, residents of Bor, 30 km from Zejecar, cannot see the channel.
“I urge the Belgrade authorities to do everything they can to guarantee media freedom in small towns where fear has been spreading,” said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.