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3 Balkan Journalists Share Prize

December 30, 1998

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Three journalists working for independent news organizations in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina shared the Olof Palme Prize this year.

The journalists recognized Tuesday were Veran Matic, chairman of the ANEM, a network of independent radio stations in Serbia; Senad Pecanin, chief editor of the independent weekly DANI in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and Viktor Ivancik, executive editor for the independent political weekly Feral Tribune in Split, Croatia.

The fund cited them for ``continuing the struggle for free expression despite violations, harassments and abuse.″

``This should be seen as a recognition of all those within independent media fighting for democracy and peace in the former Yugoslavia,″ said Pierre Schori, President of the Olof Palme Memorial Fund.

The prize has been awarded annually since 1987 by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, established by the family of the assassinated Swedish prime minister and his Social Democratic Party to foster international understanding.

Recipients of the prize include Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Czech president Vaclav Havel in 1989 when he still was a dissident in his own country, and Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng.

The prize this year is worth about $50,000.

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