CPJ update: journalists caught in the crossfire
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ update on recent events in FRY:
**Updates IFEX alerts of 12 May, 10 May, 7 May 1999 and others**
CPJ Update: Journalists Caught in the Crossfire
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonpartisan organization
dedicated to safeguarding press freedom around the world, has documented
further maltreatment of journalists by Yugoslav authorities, as well as new
casualties of NATO's bombing campaign.
Ashes of Three Killed Journalists Returned to China
The ashes of three Chinese journalists killed in NATO's bombing of the
Chinese Embassy in Belgrade were returned to Beijing on May 12. Shao
Yunhuan, 48, a reporter with the official Xinhua News Agency, and newlyweds
Xu Xinghu, 29, and Zhu Ying, 27, who both worked for The Guangming Daily,
died in the predawn blast on May 8. The journalists were on assignment in
Belgrade covering the war. NATO said the embassy bombing was an accident.
CPJ has added their names to its list of journalists killed in the line of
German TV Correspondent Released from Yugoslav Detention
Hans-Peter "Pit" Schnitzler, a correspondent for Germany's SAT-1 television
network, returned to Germany after he was freed from a Yugoslav jail on May
11. Schnitzler told reporters that Serbian authorities had dropped espionage
charges against him following an order by President Slobodan Milosevic.
Schnitzler was severely beaten during his first week in detention. On the
day of his release, Schnitzler was driven to the Croatian border in the
middle of the night and ordered to walk across the border. The 56-year-old
journalist was released only days after a delegation from the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ) appealed to Yugoslav officials in his behalf
during a visit to Belgrade.
Montenegrin Publisher Charged with Treason
Miodrag Perovic, the publisher of the independent weekly Monitor in
Podgorica, has been charged with treason and is being tried in absentia by a
Yugoslav military tribunal. Perovic went into hiding after hearing that
Yugoslav federal army authorities were planning to subpoena him in a treason
inquiry for an editorial in which he blamed the army for provoking NATO's
attacks on Montenegro and accused them of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
NTV Correspondent Ordered out of Yugoslavia
Vyacheslav Grunsky, a correspondent with Russia's independent NTV network,
was expelled from Yugoslavia on May 7. Serbian officials offered no
explanation for his expulsion. Grunsky's employers at NTV claimed, however,
that he was expelled in retaliation for NTV's recent reports on human rights
violations by Serbian forces in Kosovo. While most Russian media have
supported the Serbian position in the Kosovo conflict, in April NTV became
the first network to show footage and interview ethnic Albanian deportees
from Kosovo in the refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia.
Other Russian TV Crews Harassed
Two major Russian television networks have recalled their film crews to
protest their harassment by Yugoslav authorities, who they claim have
deliberately impeded their work. Three film crews from Russia's public
television network ORT, and a correspondent from state-run RTR, left the
country this week after Serbian authorities repeatedly prevented them from