The project “No impunity for human rights violations in Montenegro“ was presented at today’s kick-off conference at the European House, the project that the Civic Alliance (CA) is carrying out in partnership with the Belgrade Center for Human Rights from Serbia and the International Commission of Jurists from Brussels. We are realizing the project with the support of the European Union through IPA and Civil Society Facility (CSF).
During the 20 months of project implementation, we want to contribute to the consolidation of democracy, strengthening the rule of law and the protection of human rights in Montenegro, with the inclusion of the OCD in decision-making processes in line with the negotiation process. Besides that, the project will also contribute in strengthening judiciary and justice, because this branch of government plays a key role in ensuring the proper establishment of the rule of law and the protection of basic human rights in Montenegro, with focus on endangered groups.
Siniša Bjeković, the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, and Milan Radović, the CA program director, spoke at today’s conference.
Ombudsman Siniša Bjeković stated that there are no massive and systematic violations of human rights and freedoms in Montenegro, but that certain areas should be taken into account, as indicated by the Ombudsman institution, as well as international reports. He said that dialogue and tolerance are the least present in society, without which we cannot move forward, and that the phenomenon of abuse is present among the general population as well as among the vulnerable groups. Siniša Bjeković emphasized that if violence is being tolerated, especially in institutions, than we are sending a very bad message to the citizens and that any type of violation of human rights and freedoms, which hits the wall of silence, discourages anyone who wants to find protection.
Milan Radović said that the institutions they monitor today – such as the Police Administration and the Administration for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions – are much more open, and that the CA representatives can visit these institutions unannounced in order to meet with people who have been arrested or are serving a sentence and discuss their treatment and respect for human rights. However, he stated that there are still numerous problems that we face in that area, which have been registered by important domestic and international subjects. Mr. Radović added that they would try to influence the increase in transparency and efficiency of judiciary and the police, and increase the capacity of institutions in order to protect citizens from torture and prevent impunity.
Collaborators on this project are the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, Ministry of the Interior, Police Administration, Administration for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions, Ministry of Justice and NGO „Institute Punta“.