NCB to answer inquiries on clarifications of measures and to assure non-selective application of measures

Today, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) sent a request to the National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases (NCB) and the Ministry of Health for urgent clarification of measures of NCB relating to general provisions of wearing protective face masks, given the fact that NCB ignored CCE’s request, which was sent last week.

The CCE urgently requests the NCB to give a precise explanation of this measure, but also that the NCB influences all organizers of any type of gathering, especially institutions, organizers of meetings/events and TV stations, to ensure compliance with these measures when they are hosts, as well as that public officials be the ones to take the lead in respecting measures.

Numerous examples support the continuity of non-compliance with this measure in public space, from its adoption until today. In that context, we point to yesterday’s and today’s plenary session of the Parliament of Montenegro, where the majority of MPs did not respect prescribed measures and did not wear protective face masks. Does that mean that the same rules do not apply to MPs as to all other citizens of Montenegro? Does parliamentary immunity also protect them from viruses?

At a time of our serious challenge in controlling the pandemic, it is not good that NCB does not answer justified questions and to intentionally keep some of the important measures unclear. This encourages selectivity in their application, and altogether does not contribute to the effective fight against this virus and learning to live with the virus accordingly.

Representatives of the NCB frequently appeal to citizens to consistently respect all measures, and by omitting to be precise, they prevent it and undermine their credibility. Finally, we expect the NCB to demonstrate accountability and to respond promptly to justified requests for clarification of measures, as well as to be precise in defining them in the future.

Tamara Milas, Human Rights Programme Coordinator