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US Assails Curbs on Foreign Media in Serbia

April 13, 1994

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States deplores the Serbian government’s decision to revoke the press credentials of CNN and Agence France-Presse and to deny a visa to a Washington Post reporter, the State Department said Wednesday.

″Our view of this, in short, is that this stinks,″ spokesman Mike McCurry said. ″We deplore the Belgrade regime’s disregard for the most basic internationally agreed principles protecting free speech and freedom of the press.

″It’s bad enough that Belgrade chooses through its state-run media monopoly to distort and misrepresent the ongoing events in the former Yugoslavia to its own people,″ McCurry added. ″It is even worse to obstruct private news agencies as they go about their business in Serbia seeking the truth.′

In Belgrade, Information Minister Slobodan Ignjatovic said his government had decided the time had come to crack down on foreign correspondents who conduct a ″ruthless media war against Yugoslavia from its territory,″ an official statement said Tuesday.

In Atlanta, CNN said it stands by its coverage of Yugoslavia as ″fair and objective. ... CNN hopes to have continued access to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in order to present the important events which are critical for this story to be balanced.″

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