bosnia report
New Series No. 9/10 April - July 1999
Killing the killer

After NATO missiles had destroyed the Serbian radio and television building in Belgrade, Aidan White, acting in the name of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) severely criticised this act, saying that wars should not be waged in this manner nor can they be won by dropping bombs on media outlets and killing journalists.

This protest is just as wrong as it would be wrong for the psychiatrists of the world to give support to the psychiatrist Radovan Karadzic, the soldiers to Gen eral Ratko Mladic, the lawyers to Vojislav Seselj. Those individuals who by their acts, words and manipulations have contributed to the deportations of whole peoples, and proclaimed an open hunting season against their members, have broken the basic rules of their professions; it is absurd to grant them the right to belong to those professions solely on the basis of acquired diplomas, which they in any case have used for the worst abuse of their knowledge and abilities.

This support for Serbian TV is scandalous, in view of the fact that it is not just one in the series of media victims of the Balkan war, but the very one which has most openly encouraged and supported the brutal dissolution of Albani an TV in Prishtina, the closing of the daily Rilindja with the use of trun cheons, and, ten years later, the destruction of the Kosova Information Centre and the newspaper Koha Ditore.

It is highly possible that innocent people were found in the Belgrade ruins, who had done nothing but earn their and their families' daily bread. This, however, does happen in wars. They were part of the same military machine as the people wearing uniforms of the Serbian army and police who are also being killed these days by NATO bombs, though some of them too neither commit nor approve of crimes. This is why the closing down of Serbian TV, even if this can be done by no other means than by NATO, is welcome news and a blessing both for the Serbs and for journalism.


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