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21. 04. 2017.

Journalists' Association of Serbia: 18th Anniversary of War Crime against RTS Employees to be Commemorated on Sunday

The Journalists' Association of Serbia [in Serbian, Udruženje novinara Srbije - UNS] would like to remind that as of the 23rd of April at 02:06AM, 18 years have passed from the murder of 16 media workers during the NATO bombing of the Radio Television of Serbia [RTS].

By bombing the RTS in 1999, the practice of using military force against media in the international conflicts was established, despite the fact that these are civilian buildings and cannot be considered military targets.

The only person that was held responsible thus far for the aforementioned war crime was the former RTS director Dragoljub Milanovic, who served a 10-year prison sentence to which he was convicted because he failed to take the necessary measures to protect and evacuate the RTS employees after the threats of bombing the building were made.

UNS would like to emphasize the fact that all the relevant global human rights organizations have condemned the killing of civilians within the RTS premises, while Amnesty International considers this deliberate attack on the RTS building, as a civilian facility, and the murder of 16 media employees a war crime.

UNS reminds that, at its assembly held in 2011 in Belgrade, the European Federation of Journalists [EFJ] invited its members to join UNS and the Union of Journalists of Serbia in commemorating the 23rd of April - the Day of Remembrance of 16 media workers killed during the NATO bombing of RTS.

UNS supports and appreciates the work of the Serbian Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists performed thus far and expects from it to play a key role in shedding light on all the circumstances related to the killing of 16 media workers.

UNS supported the initiative of the aforementioned Commission calling upon the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists to include the 16 RTS journalists and media workers in its list, but CPJ has not done it yet. UNS will continue insisting on inclusion of the names of our colleagues in the list of killed media workers.

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