Government has to to Protect Studio B
Belgrade, November 14, 2006
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
calls upon the Belgrade government and the Democratic Party /DS/ to take
urgent steps to protect media freedoms and put an end to the pressure on
the TV Studio B and its director, Dragana Milicevic. The Democratic
Party should not yield to the Democratic Party of Serbia\'s /DSS/
demands to have "the question of the city broadcaster's programming
opened" because it is "dissatisfied with it." Succumbing to the DSS'
blackmail would make the DS an accomplice in gross violation of media
freedoms and the right to free expression in Serbia.
As Serbia's ruling party, the DSS has access to all
media outlets, including the TV Studio B. On the other hand, the TV
Studio B is a broadcaster that opens the air for the people advocating
alternative views and confronting nationalism and the "values" set at
the time of Slobodan Milosevic's rule, all of which makes it different
from most broadcast media. As it seems, the DSS wants more than having
its stands dominate almost all national televisions - it wants to
subjugate a city television and thus plunge Serbia in media darkness.
The Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned with the
fact that latest developments coincide with the election campaign and
fear they might serve as a model for chocking other media outlets as
well. Deposal of the Studio B Director, under the DSS' pressure, would
overtly breach the right to free expression and could take Serbia before
the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.