During 2016, the Protector of Human Roghts and Freedoms – Ombudsman set up three cases based on sexual orientation as basis of discrimination – in two cases, the proceedings were suspended due to the party’s lack of cooperation and one of them was a hate speech on a discriminatory basis.
According to the data of LGBT Forum Progress, so far Montenegro has left 27 gays and lesbians because they did not feel safe. The first-declared gay-man in Montenegro, Zdravko Cimbaljević, has requested and received asylum in Canada due to the constant death threats.
Interviewers appearing in the video “Asylum in the Country of Persecuted”, found the safe shelter in Montenegro because of the same situation in Cuba. Hesus, Yassel, Tita, Cuban boy and Ossein, spend their days in the Asylum Seekers Center in Spuž. In the escape from homophobia in their own country, they found asylum, as they say, in a homophobic country.
For citizens of Montenegro, Hesus, who is soon leaving the Center, has a message – „To accept homosexuals. Homosexuality is not a disease and we are not bad persons. We want to respect others, but we also want to be respected.”
Yassel left Cuba because, as he said, he had no freedom – he couldn’t be the person he is. Even here in Montenegro he also feels fear, but is feeling safer than in Cuba.
„I expect here everything that I couldn’t do in Cuba, to live my life as a person and to integrate into society”, tells his story a twenty-year-old young man.
Tita left Cuba for a family problems and imposed marriage. She sees herself as a bisexual person and she arrived to Montenegro after numerous obstacles that led her through Russia and Serbia.
When she thinks about her ideal life in Montenegro, she is not much different from the domicile population and their aspirations.
„I want to work, to have a house and friends, to feel safe and want my sons go to school without fear.”
„Boy from Cuba” left his hometown because of a number of problems related to his sexual orientation. He had many bad situations with members of the police, but also with the state.
„People is not homophobic, but the state is. There is only one place which members of the community visit, but if we celebrate something for example, the raid comes. They take us at the police station and explain how our behavior is not normal and decent “, he reminded on the resons for leaving the state.
Ossein chose to leave for political and social problems he faced with because he is a member of LGBTIQ community.
„I choose to come to Montenegro because I knew it was the easier way, as your country has smaller number of immigrants. It is harder to enter European Union countries because they are full of migrants.”
At the moment, he waits the response of Montenegro on its status and mentiones that the situation is equally harded because refugees are unaccepted.
„We are all human beings, and the color of the skin and sexual orientation is the least important”, says Ossein.
One of the interviewers – Bojana Jokić, the President of the Managerial Board of LGBT Forum Progress believes there are many ways to help refugees and asylum seekers who are members of LGBTIQ population.
„No matter how Montenegro is safe, safer than other world countries, still is not safe for LGBTIQ people. It is important to pay attention and to be prepared, and to prepare asylum seekers as well and people who received asylum on what they can expect in Montenegro”, concluded Jokić.
„Asylum in the Ctate of Persecuted” came as an idea of the NGO „35mm” team in order to inform Montenegrin public on life of refugees and asylum seekers, who asked for and received asylum according to their sexual orientation. Our desire is to present their desires, experience, expectations, problems for which they had to leave their country. Find the video on this link:
Video has been made in the framework of the grant scheme and in the framework of the project „Jointly for better protection of asylum seekers, migrants and victims of trafficking”, implemented by CEDEM in Montenegro, with the financial support of Rockefeller Brother Foundation. The video content is only responsibility of NGO „35mm” and does not necesserily reflect the opinion of donor.