Saturday-Sunday, January 27-28, 1996


Unfair treatment

Very aware this manner of communique with the highest world sports body may be unusual, we stress that we were compelled to it, because we were hindered in the battle for our rights with our national olympic committee (YOC).

Our problem is first and foremost of professional nature. In division of journalist accreditation for Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, Yugoslavia received 15 spots. "Nasa Borba", as the only independent and private daily in Yugoslavia, became also the only newspaper not to receive a single accreditation. All our efforts with YOC to gain some kind of official, or unofficial, explanation as to the reasons for such treatment towards "Nasa Borba" were fruitless, so by this means we would like to get your attention on actions which, unfortunately for us, have nothing to do with olympic spirit, sports in general, nor with journalism.

We very much suspect political reasons were the decisive factor in the treatment we received from YOK on this matter. For your information, our newspaper is being published under its current name for less than a year, and it is mostly made by the journalists who left "Borba" after the government takeover back in 1994. Shortly after all journalists were denied entrance to the building, for nine months the government has used pressures to prevent "Nasa Borba", which is now a private newspaper, to purchase or lease office space in Belgrade. Reasons for this may not be as obvious to you, but it is because "Nasa Borba" is not to our government's liking because it is not pro-government, because it is critical of both the government and the opposition, because it is fundamentally unpartisan in nature.

With this letter we do not want to put you in the position of a referee in this dispute which was not caused by us in any manner, and which might seem internal to you. We primarily want to ask for your help in our struggle for our professional right to observe the biggest sports event of the year, in the interest of our readers, sport in our country and sport in general.

Hoping you would answer this appeal promptly, we mention that we have sent a similar letter to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and International Association of Sport Journalists.

© Yurope & ,,Nasa Borba", 1996. / Translated by Nadija Butimirovic