NUNS, SINOS: Tragic warning to all journalists
The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) and the Journalists Union of Serbia (SINOS) have expressed their dissatisfaction over the failure to shed light on all aspects of the killing of 16 Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) media professionals and punish those who ordered it, and warned that, 16 years on, the murder remains an echoing, tragic warning that journalists become targets in wartime conflicts.
"The authorities have the duty of bringing to justice all those who are responsible for the fact that our colleagues had not been evacuated from the television building on time," NUNS said in a statement issued on the 16th anniversary of the killing of the 16 media workers in the NATO bombing of the RTS.
The public should find out whether the Serbian military and civilian authorities had been warned of the danger of the RTS building being bombed and, if they had, why they did not take appropriate measures, NUNS said.
"Such a request in no way exonerates those who ordered and carried out the bombing itself. Military attacks on media cannot in any case be legitimate," NUNS said.
Those who ordered the crime are unpunished and only Dragoljub Milanovic, the then RTS director, has served 10 years in prison for having failed to evacuate the news desk and protect the employees, SINOS noted
Flowers laid at memorial to 16 RTS employees killed in 1999
The sixteenth anniversary of deaths of 16 Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) employees in the 1999 NATO bombing was commemorated Thursday by families and colleagues of those killed and the laying of wreaths at the memorial erected on the destroyed part of the national broadcaster's building in the center of Belgrade.
A wreath bearing the inscription "Why?" was laid at the memorial by Serbian Minister of Culture Ivan Tasovac.
Miroslav Medic, brother of victim Sinisa Medic, said that the families of the dead were still seeking justice for the victims.
Zarko Trebjesanin, member of the RTS managing board, said that it was difficult to speak calmly at the site of a great crime, of a “cold-blooded killing of 16 people, RTS media workers, just because they were doing their job in a professional manner.”
Only the then RTS director, Dragoljub Milanovic, has been convicted in connection with the war crime so far. He was given and has worked out a 10-year prison sentence for failing to take measures to protect the RTS employees and evacuate them after receiving threats that the building would be bombed.