Authorities shall seriously consider State Department’s report

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) appreciates the fact that recently published State Department’s report on the state of human rights in Montenegro for 2013 confirms for many years established attitudes on state of Montenegrin institutions, and unequivocally recognizes and emphasizes problems of pervasive corruption, discrimination and restriction of freedom of expression, with an accent on very serious obstacles which are spreading on critically oriented part of NGO sector and leaders of certain opposition parties lately.

This report is one more reminder about the necessity of determined institutional fight against corruption, especially in the area of employment on party or family basis, conflicts of interest on all levels of authorities, as well as against different ways of discrimination and violence against minorities. The report, also, indicates the need for dedication in solving numerous cases of attacks on journalists, media and political opponents. Competent state institutions shall seriously consider this report and cope with problems that the report identifies.

At the same time CCE welcomes the decision of the Ministry of Interior Affairs that the journalist Tufik Softić gets assigned adequate police security, even though that decision is made after a year from the moment of submission of a request, while none of the previous attacks on him have not been solved. CCE invites competent bodies to intensify efforts in direction of clarifying the attacks on journalists and their effective processing, because that is the only way to stop the escalation of violence against journalists and media’s property, which we all have witnessed.

CCE states that in the last period relevant international reports increasingly indicate the problems in the area of exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms. These reports are based on facts, not on perceptions, as some people from the authorities try to explain in attempt to minimize them. Denying statements in these, so as in reports of non-governmental organizations and media, will not solve the problems that citizens of Montenegro face.

Vladimir Vučković, Programme Associate