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Wednesday, 17 May, 2000, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
How free speech went off-air
studio b workers
Studio B workers were turned away
Radio B2-92 broadcast a special announcement after the Serbian authorities took control.

Good morning, inasmuch as this morning can be good.

Dear listeners, you are listening to special B2-92 news.


broadcasters
Broadcasters were restricted to their mobile phones
The broadcasting of Radio B2-92's usual programme has been made impossible since Belgrade-based radio and TV station Studio B was taken over last night on the basis of a decision taken by the republican government.

The raid took place at Studio B at around 0200 (0000GMT) last night, when a large number of police completely blocked the Belgradanka building, in which the Studio B premises are based.

Shortly after this, a recorded message was broadcast on Studio B which informed the public that the Serbian Government had passed a resolution to take over the public radio company Studio B, which was founded by the Belgrade City Council, because of the frequent calls to disrupt constitutional order by use of force on this station's programmes.

This was at the request of the Serbian Information Ministry.

'Direct control'

The Serbian Government found a legal reason for its decision in the fact that Studio B is state property and so it has decided to take direct control of its property.

It has taken over the founding rights from the Belgrade City Council. With the Serbian Government's resolution, all of Studio B's bodies' licences ended on the day that the resolution was passed.

Ljubisav Aleksic has been appointed to the post of editor-in-chief of Studio B. Studio B, according to the Serbian government, must continue its work as a fully accountable enterprise, whose founder is the Serbian Government.

The Serbian Government's decision was signed by Deputy Prime Ministers Milovan Bojic and Vojislav Seselj.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

17 May 00 | Europe
Serbs silence broadcasters
03 Apr 99 | Monitoring
Serbia closes B92 radio station
18 Mar 00 | Europe
Serbia clamps down on media
13 Apr 00 | Europe
Serb media defies government
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