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Serbia22 February 2008

Video posted on YouTube makes death threat against B92 TV journalists

Reporters Without Borders condemns the death threats that the independent radio and TV broadcaster B92 has been receiving in the past few days in emails and messages posted on its website forum. They culminated with a video montage posted on YouTube showing two B92 presenters being shot dead.

The makers of the video superimposed the sights of a gun on B92 broadcast footage, and had the gun fire on the B92 logo and the faces of the two presenters. This sequence is preceded by words accusing B92 of responsibility for the “black clouds that have rained on Serbia.”

“We are outraged by these death threats against the staff of B92,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is vital that an investigation is carried out to track down those responsible for this video. President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica must also publicly pledge to guarantee the security of Serbia’s journalists and news media. Journalists must be able to work freely and safely in the region.”

B92 also received a bomb warning in an email on 20 February. A Serb police bomb disposal unit searched the broadcaster’s premises but found nothing. Police computer specialists established from the IP address that the email was sent from a computer in Germany.

Around 200 demonstrators tried to force their way into B92’s offices last night, following yesterday’s protests in the Serbian capital. The protesters were contained after reinforcements were sent to police posted near the building.

Created in 1989, B92 is Serbia’s leading independent radio and TV broadcaster and is known for its investigative programmes such as “Insider” and “B92 Investigates.” But it has been repeatedly subjected to pressure and harassment over the years.

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