IFJ Backs General Strike For Press Freedom and Democracy In Yugoslavia

The International Federation of Journalists today backed calls for a general strike in Yugoslavia to oust Slobodan Milosevic from power.

"Journalists and media workers have been in the forefront of the battle for freedom and democracy in Belgrade for ten years and, at this defining moment, we urge full support for mass action," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ.

The IFJ has called on all its member unions to send messages of support to its affiliates in Yugoslavia. The General Secretary will visit Kosovo next week to investigate the press freedom situation, but the authorities in Belgrade have refused the IFJ permission to visit Serbia.

"The struggle for democracy is now at a crucial stage and the pressure on Milosevic must be intensified," said Aidan White. "We are also calling on the official Association of Journalists to break their links with the discredited Milosevic regime and to open up the state media to all sections of society.

"Yugoslavia is at a critical crossroads and everything must be done to ensure solidarity with journalists and others striving for democracy," said the IFJ.

The IFJ affiliates in Serbia and Montenegro are:

Gordana Susa, President

Independent Association of Journalists

Tel/fax: +381 11 33 43810 E-Mail IJAS

Branislav Canak, President

Association of Independent Trade Unions of Journalists

Tel: +381 11 324 45 42 Fax: +381 11 324 41 18 E-Mail: Branislav Canak

Vesna Pejovic, President

Independent Association of Journalists of Montenegro

Tel/fax +381 81 244 307