Journalist Miroslav Filipovic returned to his cell
(RSF/IFEX) - RSF expressed its consternation following the Yugoslav authorities' decision to transfer journalist Miroslav Filipovic from the Nis hospital, where he had been put under observation with serious heart trouble, to the city's military prison. "Not content to have had a journalist sentenced to a seven-year prison term merely for having expressed an opinion, the Yugoslav authorities are now also putting his life in danger," stated Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary-general. "We ask the Yugoslav authorities to reconsider their decision, proceed with the journalist's immediate release, and drop the charges weighing against him," Ménard added.
According to information collected by RSF, Filipovic was reincarcerated at the Nis military prison on 21 September 2000. He was first imprisoned there on 22 May, before being hospitalised on 8 August at Belgrade's military hospital, following serious heart trouble. According to his family, Filipovic has lost twenty kilos since he was detained in May. Several medical examinations have confirmed that his health situation requires an extended medical follow-up in a cardiology unit, and that his health has not improved to a significant degree.
Filipovic, a correspondent with the daily "Danas" and Agence France-Presse in Kraljevo (central Serbia), was sentenced to seven years in prison for "spying" and "distribution of false news" by the Nis military court on 26 July. The journalist decided to appeal his sentence before the Supreme Military Court. He had published articles describing the actions of certain Yugoslav army units in Kosovo on the web site of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), a London-based independent institute for which he is also a correspondent. He was first arrested on 8 May in his Kraljevo apartment by members of the security services. Released on 12 May, he was reincarcerated ten days later.