The Civic Alliance demands an urgent investigation of new allegations of police torture in the case of Stefan Regojević, accused of being connected to the robbery of the Post Office in Nikšić.
It is particularly worrisome – if the media reports are correct – that the High Court failed to take any action, although allegations of torture, photographs, and medical documentation were reported during the trial; thus, we call on the Judicial Council to actively get involved in this procedure and review the actions of judges in this case.
International standards impose an ethical obligation on judges to ensure the protection of individuals’ rights. At the same time, the Istanbul Protocol obliges states to immediately and impartially conduct investigations into reported cases of torture. The investigation, as such, must be guided by fundamental principles, namely competence, independence, prompt execution, and thoroughness. In addition, according to Art. 15 of the Convention against Torture and Art. 12 of the Declaration on Protection against Torture, any statement found to be the result of torture may not be taken as evidence in any proceedings except in the case of proving torture. This is a primary obligation to ensure justice and protection of the victim’s rights.
Therefore, we call on the competent authorities, including the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica, to react urgently and conduct a valid investigation in order to establish the truth about the allegations of torture presented by Regojević before the court. No individual shall be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment, regardless of the charges against him or her. Consequently, serious allegations require an effective investigation to determine the true state of the facts.
The Civic Alliance has set up an SOS telephone line (020/513-687) for reporting cases of torture and providing support to victims as part of the project “No impunity for violations of human rights in Montenegro,” financed by the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration.