Daily Telegraf, despite its name, is not related to the weekly Nedeljni Telegraf. They used to provide a selection of articles from the most recent issue (updated daily) and their weekly magazine, DT Magazin. The paper was banned on 10/14/98 by the Serbian Ministry of Information. After a week of protests by the local independent media and foreign NGOs and governments, the Serbian government lifted the ban, but replaced it with a new Public Information Law which was enacted on 10/20/98 following the procedure reserved for urgent pieces of legislation. The new law bans rebroadcasting of foreign programs, such as Voice of America, BBC and Radio Free Europe. It also obliges all media to prove the truthfulness of any information they publish. Following a suit questioning the truthfulness of anything printed in a paper (or even claiming that an article endangers someone's civic rights), the publisher is obliged to, within 24 hours from the time when a competent court issues summons, prove the truthfulness of the printed information. The failure to do so is punishable with up to $240,000; the publisher has the right to appeal but must pay the fine within 24 hours from the sentencing; if the publisher is unable to pay the fine (average annual income in Serbia was $1,500 in October 1998) the state confiscates publisher's, editor-in-chief's and director's personal property and the property of the paper. The first case tried according to the new law took place on 10/23/98 when "Belgrade Patriotic League" sued De Te Press, publisher of Dnevni Telegraf and the weekly Evropljanin, for an article printed in Evropljanin which "violated human, ethnic and civic rights" of their members. On 10/26/98 Dnevni Telegraf wrote about the flow and the outcome of the trial. On Sunday 10/25/98 the Police confiscated the new issue of Dnevni Telegraf which was supposed to appear on 10/26/98, confiscated furniture from the apartment of Ivan Tadic, executive director of De Te Press, attempted to confiscate property of the paper's founder Slavko Curuvija, and the magazine's editor-in-chief Dragan Bujosevic (it turned out they owned nothing) and confiscated all property from the offices of De Te Press: chairs, desks, computers... Following this raid, the other two banned dailies, Danas and Nasa Borba, decided not to resume publishing until the new Law is repealed. Danas has since then reappeared as a Montenegrin newspaper. Dnevni Telegraf used the same tactics, but was promptly sued on 11/7/98 by the Serbian Commissioner for Refugees, Ms. Buba Morina. The newspaper published an advert by the student group "Otpor" [resistance] calling for peaceful resistance to the authorities. Ms. Morina, as the president of the Association of Yugoslav Women, claimed that the advertisement was "an attempt to violently destroy the constitutional order" and endangered "women and children of Yugoslavia". The "Montenegrin" Dnevni Telegraf was fined on 11/8/98 with $120,000 and the authorities proceeded to confiscate daily print of the paper during the following week. Starting with November 17, Dnevni Telegraf is printed in Montenegro and smuggled into Serbia. The authorities have so far (11/20/98) been successful in impounding most of the print run, but some copies are currently sold by street sellers in Belgrade and other large cities in Serbia. On 11/22/98, according to the paper, 15,000 copies were smuggled in and sold in Belgrade. (Minister of Information in the Serbian Government, Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, can be reached at email@example.com). On April 11, Slavko Curuvija, the publisher and founder of the independent daily Dnevni Telegraf was murdered in front of his home in Belgrade by "unidentified assassins". Since the murder of Slavko Curuvija, Dnevni Telegraf and Evropljanin have stopped with publishing.
|The poster which appeared in Belgrade on 11/14/98 with the front page of Dnevni Telegraf. The stylized fist near the top of the page is the advertisement which led to the second fine. The poster says: "This paper was banned because it writes the truth!".|
On April 11, Slavko Curuvija, the publisher and founder of the independent daily Dnevni Telegraf was murdered in front of his home in Belgrade by "unidentified assassins". He died in an execution-style murder: the attackers first wounded Mr Curuvija from afar and then finished him off with several shots to his head. His companion, Ms Branka Prpa, who witnessed the murder, was hit several times before the attackers ran from the scene of crime. A couple of days before his murder, Mr Curuvija was
referred to by name in an attack on "national traitors" in
the state-controlled Belgrade daily "Politika ekspres".
This commentary remarked that Mr Curuvija had "vanished from
sight" since the beginning of NATO bombing and that his
"services for the '[NATO] aggressor would never be
forgotten". According to ANEM and the interview given to New York Times, Mr Curuvija was
consistently opposed to NATO's military intervention in
Yugoslavia in all his public appearances and contacts, and
repeatedly warned of the far-reaching and fatal consequences
of such action by NATO. His attitude remained unchanged once
the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began.|
Mr Curuvija was the owner and founder of the weekly Evropljanin and daily Dnevni Telegraf. Since October 1998, he has been a target of escalating attacks by the Serbian authortities, apparently provoked the publication of an open letter denouncing Milosevic and his policies. Several draconian fines were followed by the confiscation of the property, a jail sentence, and concluded with the murder Since the murder of Slavko Curuvija, Dnevni Telegraf and Evropljanin have stopped with publishing.