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Serbia: RFE/RL Expands Coverage In Cooperation With Radio B92

Washington, 5 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty yesterday began expanded news and current affairs programming in cooperation with Radio B92, the last independent broadcaster in Belgrade which Serbian authorities silenced Tuesday.

Special programming began yesterday with a 30-minute slot devoted to Serbia. The program is broadcast from 21:00 to 21:30 Belgrade time on 1593 kilohertz from a 150,000 watt AM transmitter at Holzkirchen, Germany. An additional 30-minute program is scheduled to begin from 19:00 to 19:30 Belgrade time, to be aired on 792 Kilohertz from a 500,000 watt AM transmitter at Kavala, Greece. Both stations are operated by the U.S. Information Agency's International Broadcasting Bureau.

On the air since January, 1994, RFE/RL's multi-ethnic South Slavic Language Service staffed with prominent Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian journalists currently broadcasts two and a half hours daily to the former Yugoslavia. The director of the service is Nenad Pejic, former program director of independent Sarajevo TV.

Based at RFE/RL's broadcast center in Prague, the service draws on more than 30 correspondents working through bureaus in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb, and from Washington, Brussels, London, Moscow and other major world capitals.

Since 1994, Radio B92 has broadcast one hour of RFE/RL's program daily. The service's programs continue to be broadcast on seven other independent local FM stations in Serbia and Bosnia. RFE/RL also produces a half-hour weekly television program that airs on independent stations in Bosnia.

Also yesterday, the Voice of America (VOA) announced it will extend its Serbian-language radio broadcasts from two to two and a half hours daily, in response to the Serbian government's crackdown on press freedom. Germany's Deutsche Welle said it would also begin transmitting Radio B-92 programming on its airwaves.