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Serbia: Pescanik's Web Site Down, Radio Broadcast Disrupted, Editor's Car Destroyed

A few days ago, Serbian web site www.pescanik.net was taken down and the weekly radio broadcast of the same name was disrupted. Also, the car of Svetlana Lukic, one of two Pescanik‘s editors, was destroyed.

Jovana Gec, an Associated Press writer, published this article – “Attackers disrupt liberal radio show in Serbia” – on Jan. 28, in which she wrote about the incidents and explained that the weekly show was “very popular with pro-Western Serbs” and ran “interviews with liberal intellectuals as well as critics of Serbia's conservative elite and the hardline Serbian Orthodox Church.”

Srdja Popovic, a famous Belgrade lawyer, wrote on web site Radna soba:

Firstly, what is Pescanik?

Pescanik is an NGO which has two members, two journalists: Svetlana Lukic and Svetlana Vukovic. They've been producing for 9 years 90-minute-long broadcasts. They are making this broadcast absolutely free and give it to radio B92 to broadcast it weekly, on Friday, and repeat it on Saturday. The broadcast is heard by 350,000-400,000 people every week.

Afterwards, they transcribe the broadcast and they publish a book every three months. The books have been printed in 26,000 copies so far. The books were sold by the price of the production or were given free on promotions. The promotions are organized on the tribunes in 30 cities a year all over Serbia. As of now, 354 broadcasts have been aired and 300 of them were copied on DVD. They are distributed all over Serbia in the same way.

Since last year, Pescanik has its own web site www.pescanik.net. On the site, Pescanik's contributors publish their articles about politics, above all European integration and attitudes toward war crimes, about society and culture. […]

The Pescanik broadcast always starts with an editorial by Svetlana Lukic.

In the last, 354th broadcast, she talked about the events from last week. In the focus of those events was, it seems, untouchable president of the republic. Editorial writer found fault with the following:

that he was the only one in the world who didn't congratulate president Barack Obama;
that he isolated Serbia and raised a new iron curtain;
that support of European integration has decreased by 6% in the last 7 months, the time that this pro-European government exists;
that he, thanks to his student, the foreign minister, accuses the EU that it puts special cases to Serbia for admission (we want in the European Union but they don't want us);
that he usurps competences which don't belong to him according to the Constitution;
that he doesn't make anything in order that Serbia supports the European Parliament's resolution according to which July 11 would be proclaimed as the Day of Victims of Genocide in Srebrenica;
that he, thanks to eminent members of his party (Dragoljub Micunovic), deceives the Serbian public that the International Court of Justice has acquitted Serbia from responsibility for genocide.

And look, a miracle!

Because of some inexplicable disruptions on multiple transmitters during the Pescanik broadcast on Friday, January 23, and during the repetition on Saturday, January 24, many people from Vojvodina, central and south Serbia and Belgrade couldn't hear this editorial as well as most of the broadcast.

Biljana Srbljanovic, a famous Serbian playwright, reactivated her B92 blog and, among other things, published on it a letter by Petar Lukovic, editor of e-novine web site. The letter was sent to president Boris Tadic. In it, Lukovic wrote:

[…] However, dear President Tadic, the problem which relates to Pescanik exceeded only internal media borders; disruption of this broadcast irresistibly reminds us of the time of “famous” Slobodan Milosevic, when numerous secret services had the task to control, stop, or disrupt broadcasts; today, when the slogan “Tadic is Serbia” has turned into a national doctrine, there is no reason that I turn to you from this virtual space – through e-novine – (which, by the way, you don't read) and remind you of a just few facts.

In the disrupted broadcast, an editorial by Svetlana Lukic was dedicated to you; the fact that only you, as well as Putin and Hamas, didn't congratulate Barack Obama on his election as U.S. President, had to be commented upon, as well as the fact that support for European integration in Serbia has significantly decreased at the time of your “pro-European government”, as you like to say. […]

[…] What happened, exceptional President, is what happened: no one could hear the repetition of Pescanik because the disruption worked perfectly. The site still doesn't work – thousands of hackers are working to keep the site from becoming available anymore. It's the most interesting that we can read, not just in e-novine, but in many different forums, that Boris Tadic is behind this action. […]

Condor commented on B92 forum:

[…] I don't believe that Tadic has ordered attacks on the site, disruption of Pescanik broadcast and destroying of Svetlana's car – but he made it possible and believable. […]

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