Activists, i.e. monitors of Civic Alliance, went on the terrain, in order to monitor the respect of human rights during the enthronement of the metropolitan in Cetinje. On the way from Podgorica to Cetinje, we came across numerous boulders, trees and other materials, and later tear gas, barricades, burning tires, explosions and clashes with the police.
On the terrain, we registered examples of excessive use of force by members of the police and excessive use of tear gas, which we found during the conversation with people who were interviewed at the Cetinje police station, and also during the conversation with citizens on the town square. During interviews with citizens who were deprived of liberty by the police, two citizens mentioned a case of the police who violated their personal space and insulted them. Others said they had no objections to the treatment of the police at the police station or during the apprehension. We also have to mention that information that 30 police officers sought medical help, shows that there were attacks on them, so there is an example of a police officer with a broken hand. Therefore, we invite the authorities to investigate this and all other cases of human rights violations and to respond adequately.
During the reporting we noticed that there was objective reporting by the media on one side, but there was also misinformation, especially by Serbian web portals. What we found to be a complaint was that the Police Directorate should have informed the public more often with accurate information in order to help reduce tensions and prevent the spread of false news. On the other hand, we condemn the attack on N1 TV journalists. This is a problem that has burdened Montenegro for a long time, and Civic Alliance constantly points it out on it – it is high time for the authorities to deal with this problem, and citizens should also educate about the role of the media in society and how to treat them.
With their statements, some politicians have contributed to raising tensions in order to achieve their political goals, but we believe that in a situation like this, one should think more about the safety and security of citizens.
What we can conclude is that this event deepened the already existing divisions in Montenegrin society. Montenegro, as a candidate for the membership in the European Union, that inherits inter-religious, inter-ethnic harmony, and democracy, has slowed down this process. We have shown that we are not mature enough democratically and that there is simply no political dialogue, which causes such situations and outcomes of events. That is why we invite international partners to actively involve and help our country to overcome these problems and strengthen our democratic capacities. Montenegro has to take a completely different path – the path of tolerance, peace, mutual acceptance, and politicians contribute a lot to that, so we invite them to contribute to that with their actions.
The views expressed in this statement reflect the views of the Civic Alliance and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
You will find below the photos and videos taken in the field by Civic Alliance activists.
For more details about our activities on the field, please visit: https://twitter.com/GACrnaGora