8Jan97: Serbia's Radio Boom93 Still Off the Air

Catherine Fitzpatrick (europe@ccmail.cpj.org)
Wed, 08 Jan 97 17:13:15 EST

Jan. 8, 1997

His Excellency Slobodan Milosevic
President of Serbia
Fax: +381-11-656-862

Mr. President,

I am writing on behalf of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to
draw your attention to the fact that Radio Boom93 in Pozarevac remains off
the air for the 36th consecutive day. The station was taken off the air at
the same time that Radio B92 in Belgrade was removed from the airwaves.
Radio B92 was able to resume broadcasting 52 hours later. It is of extreme
importance that the troubles of Radio Boom93 not be overlooked.

Radio Boom93 has repeatedly applied for a broadcast license from federal
officials in Serbia. In February 1994, Radio Boom93 applied to participate
in an auction called by the Republic of Serbia for a permanent broadcasting
license, but received no reply. The station then appealed to the Federal
Management for a renewal of their temporary license to broadcast, but again
received no response. The station repeatedly applied for renewals while
continuing to broadcast until Dec. 3, 1996 when the chief of the Federal
Management banned its further broadcast. Radio Boom93 next filed a
complaint concerning this decision and on Dec. 6 submitted a new
application for a temporary license to broadcast. The Federal Management
has not responded to either correspondence and Radio Boom93 remains

Radio Boom93's continued closure runs counter to the promise you signed in
our meeting on December 8 in which you agreed to support a free press in
Serbia. I respectfully urge you to do everything in your power to ensure
that Radio Boom93's applications for a frequency license be acknowledged and
processed and that the station be permitted to resume broadcasting.

Mr. President I was so happy to have a chance to have a good exchange of
views with you last month in Belgrade. I was particularly encouraged to have
a commitment from you supporting the right of a free media in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. I am sure that the situation with Radio Boom93 can
be solved without too much difficulty now that you are aware of the problem.

With thanks for your continued help and with best wishes from Richard



Chair, Committee to Protect Journalists