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Internet Links to Yugoslavia Under Fire
May 13, 1999
Help B92 expresses deep concern at reports that the US government April 30 trade embargo - Executive Order 13121 - on Yugoslavia may endanger the country's vital Internet links to the outside world.
As a first possible casualty of this US government embargo, ANEM understands that the US satellite carrier Loral Orion may be ordered to drop a satellite uplink arrangement that supplies bandwidth to two of Yugoslavia's major Internet service providers - infosky.net and BEOnet.yu.
Help B92 warns that the loss of this link would deal a fatal blow to freedom of expression in Yugoslavia, as Internet communications are one of the only remaining routes to independent information and debate for Yugoslav citizens.
Help B92 is further concerned that the all-encompassing wording of the embargo - which appears to ban US companies and citizens from exporting software and supplying services and technology (including technical data) to Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro - could have further negative repercussions for freedom of expression in Yugoslavia.
At this time of extreme isolation, Yugoslav citizens rely on the Internet to access news and information sources from around the world, free from censorship. The Internet is also the only forum for unfettered communication with friends, family, other organisations, colleagues, and representatives of a broad cross section of institutions across the globe.
Help B92 has consistantly argued that vibrant and open communication, without frontiers, is crucial to ending the current conflict in Kosovo and Yugoslavia and building a long and lasting peace for all people in the region.
Help B92 therefore calls on those committed to freedom of information and freedom of expression to uphold the right to communicate freely on the Internet and to protest this threat to Internet access for all the people of Yugoslavia.
HelpB92 is a support group for independent broadcast media in Yugoslavia. Visit our support web sites:
Contact information: email@example.com
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