Torture in Montenegro is still not being processed in accordance with the international standards and obligations

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) reminds that today, all over the world, the International Day for Support of Victims of Torture is being commemorated. This day was established under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Punishment or Treatment adopted by the United Nations and signed by the country of Montenegro.

On this occasion, CCE emphasizes that Montenegrin society managed to deal with the systematic torture, which was distinctive for the period of war events in the nineties. But it hasn’t managed to deal with torture in certain cases which are highly troubling because they mostly remain unsolved and unpunished. The case of Aleksandar Pejanović should especially be recalled, because it still stands as a warning and a threat to all citizens of Montenegro, since the responsibility has not been fully identified nor have the perpetrators been brought to justice. There are also cases of “Eagle Flight”, abuse at the Institute for Execution of Criminal Sanctions, as well as the earlier inhuman and degrading treatment of residents of the PI “Komanski most”, and many others which have remained under wraps until today, despite the international standards that Montenegro has formally accepted even according to explicit recommendations of the international expert institutions with respect to prosecuting the cases of torture and maltreatment. In addition, it is worth pointing out the threat from increase of certain forms of torture that can be identified within the cases of family violence and more occurring peer violence.

The CCE points out that the state is obliged to act responsibly in the fight against torture in any form. By ineffective and inefficient management of procedures, which results in suspended convictions and often significantly reduced sentences – an impunity is being promoted, torture and maltreatment encouraged, and international standards of respect for human rights violated, and thereby the capacity of judiciary for the process of establishing the rule of law is being questioned.

CCE reminds that the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment has been adopted under the auspices of the UN in 1984, and that Montenegro, apart from this Convention, is obliged to fight against all forms of torture even under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which established a monitoring system of prison and detention unites by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, while the Law on the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro stipulates the establishment of a national mechanism to prevent torture under the auspices of the Ombudsman.

Mirela Rebronja, Programme Coordinator