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Monday, April 12, 1999 Published at 06:50 GMT 07:50 UK

World: Europe

Serb editor shot dead

Dnevni Telegraf maintains a presence on the Internet

By Jacky Rowland in Podgorica, Montenegro

The editor of a leading independent newspaper in Serbia has been killed in Belgrade.

Kosovo: Special Report
Slavko Curuvija, the owner and editor-in-chief of Dnevni Telegraf, was shot dead in the street.

The newspaper was closed down last year under a new information law in Serbia, and since then has been published in Montenegro.

Mr Curuvija's killing takes the crisis over the media in Yugoslavia into a new dimension.

Jonathan Hill: "All local radio stations in Montenegro have defied the ban stopping them rebroadcasting western programmes"
He had been in conflict with the authorities for many months over the reporting policy of his newspaper.

The Serbian government introduced a new law on information last October, when Nato first threatened military action against Belgrade.

Under this law, the authorities have the right to move against news organisations whose reporting is deemed to threaten national interests.

Dnevni Telegraf was closed down under these emergency measures, and Mr Curuvija was heavily fined.

Moved to dodge restrictions

Slavko Curuvija talks to the BBC World Service last October about press restrictions
The newspaper tried to get around the restrictions by moving its publishing operations to the smaller Yugoslav republic of Montenegro.

But delivering the paper back to Serbia proved a logistical nightmare, and publication ground to a halt with the Nato air strikes.

Bojana Asanovic of B-92 radio: Curuvija had no particular political stand
There have been growing restrictions on the media since the bombing began.

The leading independent radio station, B-92, has been closed, and all news organisations have to respect military censorship.

But Mr Curuvija is the first journalist to be killed in the current crisis, and his shooting has sent shock waves throughout the media all over Yugoslavia.

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