Serbian authorities expel journalists from NATO-related countries
YUGOSLAVIA–A few days after the Serbian government ordered the expulsion from Yugoslavia of all journalists from countries involved in NATO airstrikes, American journalists continued their coverage of the NATO strikes both from within Yugoslavia and from neighboring countries.
Washington Post correspondent Peter Finn was one of the journalists who was escorted out of the country by Serbian police, but he went only as far as Albania and continues to report from there, according to the Post.
Two NBC correspondents, on the other hand, never left Belgrade despite the order from the Serbian government because they were not specifically asked to leave, according to NBC spokeswoman Alex Constantinople. Now that some of the expelled journalists reportedly are returning to Belgrade, Constantinople said, the NBC correspondents have no plans to leave.
ABC ordered its nine staff members in Yugoslavia to leave, however, and an ABC spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the network considered its staff members’ lives to be in danger.
The Serbian government ordered the journalists out of Yugoslavia on March 25. At the same time, according to Associated Press reports, the federal government of Yugoslavia issued a contradictory statement that said the journalists were welcome to stay, as long as their reporting remained objective.
Serbian police detained about 30 journalists as they stood on the roof of a Belgrade hotel watching NATO missiles and warplanes attack Yugoslavian targets on March 25, but all foreign journalists who were detained by Serbian police were soon released, according to Associated Press reports.