Monday, September 04, 2006

Activist says Serb government trying to incite hostility against her

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) - A human rights activist on Monday accused the government of inciting hostility against her, and said someone tried to intimidate her after she appeared on a heated television talk show about Kosovo.

Natasa Kandic, the director of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund, said she heard two loud bangs as she was leaving the B92 Television late Sunday, where she expressed her views about the U.N.-mediated negotiations to determine whether Kosovo will become independent.

She said the noise sounded like gunshots or firecrackers and was "certainly directed at me." During the broadcast, more than a dozen angry callers and two other participants in the debate accused her of taking an anti-Serb stand on the Kosovo issue.

A police spokeswoman, Dragana Kajganic, said it appeared that someone threw firecrackers from a nearby building as she left the studio, but the TV station's guards said they believed gunshots were fired in the air. No one was hurt.

Kandic, who has received threatening letters in the past, also accused the government of "inciting hostility" against her.

"If someone wanted to hit me, they would have done so. This was just a manifestation of what next steps might be. There will be more intimidation," she said.

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