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Reporters without frontiers criticize Eutelsat decision

May 29, 1999

Paris, May 28 (Tanjug) - The organization Reporters Without Frontiers said on Friday that the decision of the European organization for satellite telecommunications Eutelsat to suspend the retransmission of the programs of the Serbian state television RTS via satellite, represents an attack on the free circulation of information and the freedom of expression.

The Reporters Without Frontiers believe that the "silencing of the Serb media" even when in question are those who are the "instruments of propaganda", "is not a good solution in view of the need for pluralist informing in Yugoslavia."

Eutelsat, whose headquarters are in Paris and which rallies 47 countries, on Wednesday decided to stop the satellite retransmission of RTS programs, although RTS is one of its founders.

bullet6.gif (50 bytes) Philip Hammond, senior lecturer in media at South Bank University, "The War on TV: Serbian television building after bombarding"

Serbia Information Ministry Statement
May 27, 1999

The Serbia Information Ministry Thursday most severely condemned the EUTELSAT Board of Directors decision to discontinue transmitting the Radio-TV Serbia (RTS) satellite program and, thus, make RTS inaccessible in European countries.

The criminal decision is a culmination of the hypocrisy of the policy pursued by Western powers, which in words urge the freedom of the press while most grossly preventing the flow of information in the world and, thereby, consciously violating the EUTELSAT founding principles, a statement released by the Serbia Information Ministry set out.

In the war against our country, the criminal NATO forces are bothered the most by their inability to conceal from the world public the consequences of their own criminal actions and the killing of innocent people in Yugoslavia. An endless number of times so far, they had intended to silence the Serbian media and prevent them from keeping the domestic and world public informed about the daily crimes committed by the NATO forces on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: the destruction of the RTS buildings in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Pristina, the brutal killing of journalists, the repeated destruction of radio-TV transmitters, the jamming of RTS signals. However, regardless of all the gross attempts at silencing information and the wish to have only the NATO news circle the globe, they have not succeeded in preventing the massive support lent by the peace- and truth-loving part of mankind to the Serbian people.

Despite the fact that RTS is an EUTELSAT shareholder and has met all its financial obligations, the principle of ownership has been abrogated and the possibility denied to present to the world public opinion all the horrors and sufferings of the civilian population, caused by two months of bombardments by the NATO criminals, which is an act of unprecedented discrimination, aimed against all citizens of Yugoslavia.

For the first time since the founding of EUTELSAT, one of its members has been denied the right of transmission of its programs, which poses a most serious threat to others, too. Today it is Serbia and it is only a question of who will be the next. The EUTELSAT Board of Directors have explained their decision by saying they wanted to prevent the spreading of religious and national hatred, which they are in fact precisely doing with their own decision.

The brutal policy of force, suppressing of media and expelling from international organizations are a cruel truth that will possibly bring Europe and the world to senses even without the satellite. However, all Western missiles, "smart" and "less smart" bombs as well as any other weapon, invisible bombardiers, the most sophisticated spying systems, political decisions and bans can not stop the truth that the Serbian people defend its fatherland.

The Ministry of Information and all media in the Republic of Serbia will continue keeping informed the domestic and world public about all the developments, especially the aggressors' attacks, despite all the force, pressures and blackmail of the international tyrants," the statement said.



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