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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Press Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
May 17, 2000

Regime Crackdown on Independent Media in Serbia

The Belgrade regime's move today to silence Serbia's independent media represents a major step in efforts to preserve Milosevic's dictatorship. This night-time police raid smacks of desperate, Bolshevik oppression.

The United States strongly condemns the Belgrade regime's crackdown on the independent press and the democratic opposition in Serbia. Next week, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will consult our allies in Europe to determine what joint actions we will take in response to this blatant attack on the independent media. She will also meet with foreign ministers of states neighboring Serbia to coordinate further responses.

Today, we will add six judges and prosecutors who have taken repressive actions against independent media to our visa ban list and will ask the EU to do the same. We will continue to monitor and add other names to the list. We will also immediately add family members of several top officials of the regime to our visa ban list and encourage the EU to do the same.

We will continue to review further actions to take to demonstrate our support for the independent media and people of Serbia. We understand that citizens of Serbia have said they will protest the government's action. Their courage and activism should be a signal to those around the Milosevic family that the people of Serbia have grown tired of the regime and its repression.

[end of document]

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