STEP Coalition demands response of the competent authorities to attacks on LGBT social center in Podgorica

Beograd, Pristina and Podgorica
24 December 2014

STEP Coalition, that consists of eight NGOs from Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro, calls on the authorities to use all available resources to respond to attacks and demolition of LGBT Social Centre in the evening of 19 December 2014, the only social and cultural gathering center of LGBT community in Montenegro.

Namely, this is not the only one attack on LGBT Social Center. Within a year of its existence, this is the 25th attack on this center, and what is alarming is that the police have not shed light nor prosecuted any of these attacks. Last demolition was particularly disappointing because it was done again in the presence of the police since the security of this facility is being conducted by the same. The failure of the police and the state as a whole to stop and prosecute these attacks sends a message of fear to again invisible and frightened community and members of the LGBT population are already exhausted to ensure regular functioning and increases their regular expenses. This area is the only environment in which cultural, artistic, scientific, entertainment and social lives of the Montenegrin LGBT community occurs.

For the foregoing reasons, the Coalition for Equality STEP strongly urges the competent authorities to find the attackers because it is important to improve the situation of members of LGBT community, but also for the efforts of Montenegro as a country to achieve full democratic development and improve the human rights situation. STEP Coalition hopes that the competent institutions will allow the administration of justice and will ensure the safety of LGBT population. Next to institutions, we also invite citizens to provide support and in a spirit of tolerance, help to improve the situation of those who are vulnerable.

Announcement is signed by the members of STEP-a: YUCOM, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, CHRIS Network Committee for Human Rights, Gay Straight Alliance, the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo and the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) and LGBT Forum Progress from Montenegro.

On behalf of STEP

Milan Antonijević, director of YUCOM