SERBIA: Whistle-blower journalist unwell

Since his initial arrest in May, Filipovic has lost twenty kilograms in weight and been diagnosed as having an irregular heart-beat. He has a history of heart problems and became unwell on 3 August, after a week in Nis Military Prison. Doctors at the Belgrade Military Hospital indicate that Filipovic is in desperate need of medical care. They believe this is next to impossible at the Nis Military Hospital where Filipovic is being held.

Filipovic was arrested on 8 May in Kraljevo, southern Serbia. He stated in press interviews that he had been accused of 'collecting…data important to the country's defence and supplying it to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London' and that articles that he had published had been cited in evidence.

Some of these articles concerned eye-witness reports of alleged human rights violations by members of the Yugoslav army and Serbian police and paramilitaries in Kosovo.

Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Amnesty International UK Communications Director Mark Lattimer said:

'Rather than persecute Miroslav Filipovic for his work as a journalist the Yugoslav authorities should investigate the allegations made in his articles.'

Miroslav Filipovic was recently nominated for the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism for the articles he wrote for the Institute for War and Reporting. To view these articles online, please refer to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting website: www.iwpr.net.

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