To establish the day of remembrance for victims of totalitarian regimes

European Day of Remembrance for victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes is commemorated on 23 August, as the day of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian dictatorships of 20th century Europe. On this occasion, Centre for Civic Education (CCE) urges the decision-makers to commemorate this day in Montenegro as well, as a manner of permanent remembrance for the victims of political repression, and given that a considerable number of Montenegrin citizens was a victim of previous communist regime.

Montenegro had the highest percentage of political prisoners in the infamous prison on the isle of Goli in Croatia, one of the most brutal places of suffering where they severely tortured and murdered opponents of the then communist regime. To date, Montenegro has not adopted adequate legislation to rehabilitate and compensate the victims of Goli, or members of their immediate families, even though the Government made promises that it shall address this issue, to which it is also bound by the Declaration from 1992, which was adopted in the Parliament of Montenegro.

Parliament of Montenegro adopted the Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 2006 on the international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist orders and Resolution on the elimination of heritage of former communist totalitarian regimes, which further obliges the establishment of day of remembrance. Besides, CCE reminds that European Parliament passed the decision which underlined that every state should set a date and manner of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian regimes and adjust it to history and tradition, which is an international standard that should be respected. In this regard, Montenegro is obliged to remember Montenegrin victims of communist regime, by paying tribute, especially for the ones who suffered on the isle of Goli, as well as to other victims of communist regimes and wars.

Culture of remembrance is an important element of facing the past and to some extent it contributes to satisfaction of justice for victims. Hence, it is necessary to demonstrate a higher level of political will to conduct continuous activities with the aim of development of culture of remembrance and strengthening of peace, and CCE will work in the future, independently or in partnership with organisations in Montenegro and region.

Based on the Declaration of European Parliament from 23 September 2008, 23 August was marked as European Day of Remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism, and it was confirmed with the resolution of European Parliament on European conscience and totalitarianism 2 April 2009.

Tamara Milaš, CCE programme associate