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Yugoslavia: Opposition To Stage Belgrade Protest

Belgrade, 17 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Serbia's opposition parties have decided to hold a protest in Belgrade later today against the seizure of key opposition and independent media by the authorities. The opposition said in a statement that by its actions the regime in Serbia has led the country into a state of emergency and threatened its internal stability. The opposition also called on citizens to show civic disobedience, such as blocking roads, street protests, and work stoppages, to show the regime their disagreement with its acts and defend their remaining independent media. Early today, the Serbian authorities shut the main non-government TV station, Studio B, as well as the independent B2-92 radio. The offices of two other independent outlets were also closed. The head of Studio B, Dragan Kojadinovic, told RFE/RL the government action was unjustified: "State-organized robbery, without any legal basis, without any justification, they burst into Studio B. They took over all our premises, a few hundred plainclothes policemen -- security people who were at the scene say they literally brought busloads of police, who entered the building and broke into our offices, and practically took over Studio B."

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, on a visit to The Hague, denounced the closure of the independent outlets and said such actions would only precipitate the fall of the Belgrade government.