Reaction to the repeated publicly stated misogyny of lawyer Velibor Marković

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons – EQUALLY calls on Prime Minister Dritan Abazović to immediately exclude lawyer Velibor Marković from the Commission tasked with examining the conformity of the provisions of the Basic Agreement between the State of Montenegro and the Serbian Orthodox Church with the legal order of Montenegro. We also expect that the Prime Minister will be publicly positioned in relation to Marković’s latest outbursts, and especially the insidious comments published yesterday regarding our colleague Tea Gorjanc Prelević and Aneta Spaić, the Dean of the Faculty of Law.

We call on the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, to initiate proceedings regarding this case on his own initiative, and once again the Chamber of Lawyers of Montenegro to stop complicit in the spread of misogyny and homophobia by its silence and inaction, and to urgently deal with the previous, as well as repeated misogynistic attitudes of Marković.

We point out to the public that yesterday, on 22 July, lawyer Marković publicly incited hatred and spread misogyny on his profile on the social media Facebook in his reaction to the standpoint of Professor Aneta Spajić that she will not participate in the work of the Commission if Marković, who harbors and publicly promotes homophobic and misogynistic attitudes, is also a member of the Commission. Earlier, on the same day, he reacted extremely inappropriately and tried to discredit Tea Gorjanc Prelević, the executive director of Human Rights Action, just because she defended her principles and left the Commission to which he was appointed.

We also remind of the position of the EU Delegation in Montenegro, which in its commentary on the election of Marković clearly underlined that “homophobia and gender-based intolerance go against everything that the European Union represents, as a community based on respect for human dignity, equality and justice “, as well as that ” the composition of the body appointed by the government should reflect these fundamental values“.

Finally, we remind that law is a science based on ethics, which Marković is insolent trampling, and that Montenegro, as a secular state that strives for modern values of democratic societies and concepts of human rights and freedoms, must be a society that condemns any unethical behavior in any profession, and especially in those where justice, fairness and equal treatment for all must be a basic prerequisite for expertise. Drafting a solution implies that each member of the working group has a basic culture of dialogue. That culture is a prerequisite for a civilized discussion and exchange of arguments. When there is someone in the team who has been reacting to a different opinion for years with the most mundane insults, it indicates that he does not want you to come to a solution.

Any further refusal by Prime Minister Abazović to dismiss Marković would clearly indicate a conflict with the fundamental values of the EU, the views of Montenegro’s western partners, as well as support for the attempt to discredit civil society by a homophobe and misogynist. We hope that Prime Minister Abazović will easily and quickly assess what is the only right thing to do now, and that he will thereby show that he does not support the spread of intolerance towards women and LGBTIQ people.

Member organizations of the Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons – EQUALLY:

Queer Montenegro
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Women’s Rights Center
Association “Spectra”
NGO Prima
SOS Podgorica
Human Rights Action
Center for affirmation of RE population
Center for Monitoring and Research – CeMI