Slain Serbian newspaper owner buried

By: Karim Mostafa Amidst a gathering of more than 2,000 people, a major critic of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was buried April 14, after being shot in the head and the back by two gunmen April 11, according to The Associated Press.
Slavko Curuvija, Serbian owner of the Yugoslav opposition newspaper, Dnevni Telegraf (Daily Telegraph), was shot in front of his Belgrade apartment building, after which his wife was pistol-whipped, according to witnesses.
As owner of the Dnevni Telegraf, Curuvija had several run-ins with the Serbian government. Most recently, the newspaper was banned and fined for criticizing Milosevic and other government officials. A strict media censorship law implemented by Milosevic in October now permits fining of newspapers. Curuvija's repeated offenses added up to $165,000 in fines.
Curuvija's colleague, Ljilja Smajlovic, bid farewell saying, "Slavko promised he would not put out a paper fit for the censors. It was an honor to work with this courageous man, so unlike the cowards (who killed him)."
The Yugoslav media provided scant coverage of the slaying due to the government crackdown on media that accompanied the onslaught of NATO air strikes.
Meanwhile, NATO, last week, said other Serb media outlets have been found to be legitimate targets for attack because they are agents of propaganda for the government. Aidan White, head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), responded by saying, "Military action against media could threaten the lives of working journalists and media workers and lead to immediate reprisals." The AP reported that NATO air strikes on April 8 and 9 targeted a Serbian television relay station.
The IFJ, based in Brussels, expressed concern that, "[NATO air strikes against Serbian media outlets] will identify journalists, media workers, and media organizations as legitimate targets in any future conflict." The IFJ, which functions as a federation of journalism unions, represents 450,000 journalists around the world.

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?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 17, 1999) [Caption]


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