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Television station attacked, journalist harassed

(ANEM/IFEX) Belgrade, 19 June 2009 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) strongly condemns attacks on its member station, B92, and on Olja Beckovic, editor and writer for the television show "Impression of the Week."

On the night of 17 June, unknown persons threw a fire torch on the B92 building and slashed the tires of Beckovic's car, which was parked in front on the building where she lives with her son. B92 characterized the attacks as an example of the continued harassment of the media outlet and of Beckovic by the tabloid daily "Kurir".

An article published in the 16 June issue of "Kurir" accused Beckovic's 15 year-old son of being a drug dealer, in violation of the legal ban on the publication of such information on minors. A smear campaign against Beckovic and her family was carried out in the paper over subsequent days. "Kurir" also attacked B92, accusing it of biased reporting on alleged corruption within the Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS).

Serbia's Ministry of Culture has filed a lawsuit against "Kurir" for violating the rights of a minor. B92 has also announced its intention to sue "Kurir" for slander.

ANEM expresses its full solidarity with its B92 colleagues and joins the media outlet in its appeal to authorities to stop the violence to which its journalists and their families are exposed.

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