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Serbian Police Suspend Broadcast Permit for BK Television


Serbian police shut down the republic's first private television station Wednesday, after authorities suspended its broadcast license on charges of biased reporting.

The station, BK Television, briefly resumed service over a cable network, showing police and staff members arguing about the shutdown, and employees pleading for the public's support. But later, transmissions were cut.

The government's broadcasting agency accuses BK Television of openly backing the political party (Power of Serbia) of the station's founder Bogoljub Karic.

Some Serbian journalist organizations have protested the ban, calling it a violation of law and misuse of authority.

Last week, Serbia's broadcasting agency granted six stations republic-wide broadcast frequencies, but did not include BK Television among them.

The station carries Voice of America's Serbian television programs and the shutdown halted over-the-air VOA TV Serbian broadcasts in the Belgrade area.

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