Twenty-five members of the Coalition Together for LGBTI Rights, which gathers NGOs and institutions working on improvement of human rights of LGBTI people in Montenegro, strongly condemns the hate speech of the Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms, Jovan Vučurović, and MP of Democratic Front MP Jelena Božović during the open debate on the Law Proposal on Amendments to the Law on Social and Child Protection.
We reiterate to the public that this is not the first time that the Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms has expressed such views, which are not only discriminatory, but also represent a hate speech and human rights violations of the LGBTI community in Montenegro. Also, with his engagement so far, Vučurović has proved that he does not understand the concept of human rights, their universality, indivisibility, inalienability, but also interdependence. If he understood that, he would not say that any human right of any marginalized group can harm the rights of another group or community, but he would instead be the first to fight for the human rights of those marginalized. Hence, his statements become a serious obstacle to the already unacceptably slow process of LGBTI community inclusion.
The Coalition Together for LGBTI Rights also condemns the hate speech of the DF MP and member of the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms, Jelena Božović, which deepens the existing inequalities, and contributes to strengthening prejudices against LGBTI people in Montenegro.
It is inadmissible that such attitudes come from the Parliament of Montenegro, and from the Committee itself, given that this makes institutional efforts to establish a system of equality of human rights in our society senseless.
We remind the public, as well as MPs Vučurović and Božović, that the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms of the Parliament of Montenegro considers law proposals, other regulations and general acts and other issues related to both human and civic freedoms and rights, with special view on minority rights. Two of them cannot accept the fact that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Montenegro do not belong to any special rights that should be granted to them outside the existing corpus of human rights, and that we are talking about the same, universal, human rights that should apply to every individual, and which no one has the right to deny.
The authorities in the Parliament of Montenegro should raise the question of accountability for the work of these two members, i.e. their membership in the Committee, because by expressing hate speech, homophobia and discrimination, they are doing more damage to its work, and thus to the institution of the Parliament.
We also strongly condemn the hate speech of DF’s MP, Nikola Bajčetić, on his Twitter account, with an appeal to this MP to try to understand that hate speech occurs as a source of general danger, which encourages and justifies intolerance and, ultimately, violence. Bajčetić must understand that such flirting with hatred and its justification leads to unforeseeable consequences.
Finally, we call on the leadership of the Parliament of Montenegro to make efforts to prevent and adequately sanction incitement to hatred and intolerance towards LGBTI people in that institution. We appeal to the MPs to continue with serious work on harmonizing laws with the Law on Same-Sex Life Partnership, so that the LGBTI community can have the opportunity to exercise all basic human rights.
NGO ANIMA – Center for Women’s and Peace Education
NGO Center for Monitoring and Research – CeMI
NGO Active Zone
NGO Center for the Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CDNGO)
NGO Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
NGO Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM)
NGO Montenegrin Women’s Lobby
NGO SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence Nikšić
Montenegrin Olympic Committee
NGO Forum Youth and Non-Formal Education – Forum MNE
NGO Center for Women’s Rights
NGO Center for Affirmation of the RE Population – CAREP
NGO Human Rights Action
NGO Union of high school students of Montenegro
NGO European Movement in Montenegro
NGO Center for Roma Initiatives
NGO Institute Alternative
NGO Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Queer Montenegro