Reporters Without Borders condemns the sabotaging of a transmitter used by 100 Plus (www.radiostoplus.com), a radio station based in the southern city of Novi Pazar. As a result of the damage to the transmitter, installed on nearby Mount Golia, the station’s broadcasts are currently reaching only part of the city.
100 Plus manager Ishak Slezovic told Reporters Without Borders the station was already sabotaged in similar manner a few months ago.
“This second act of sabotage aims to silence 100 Plus, the only autonomous radio station with a permit and sufficient signal strength to cover the entire Sandzak region,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Tens of thousands of Serbs listen to its independent news programmes.”
The station was set up by Beta Press, a privately-owned news agency, in 2003 with support from the French government.
“Most of the station’s news programmes are based on our news dispatches,” Beta Press editorIvan Cvejich told Reporters Without Borders. “The independence and reliability of our news agency, a recognised news provider for nearly 15 years, guarantees the most objective coverage of the region. It is essential for the inhabitants that we should be able to continue these broadcasts.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “We urge the local and national authorities to carry out a thorough investigation with the aim of identify the perpetrators and instigators of this sabotage. The government should provide 100 Plus with technical and financial assistance without delay so that it can resume broadcasting.”
Serbia was ranked 64th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
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