Prime Minister Abazović continues to deny the concept of civil society

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ persons – EQUALLY expresses its disappointment and protests over the support that Prime Minister Dritan Abazović, in today’s published position, expressed to the lawyer Velibor Marković, and thus discrimination against women and the LGBTIQ population, which Marković supports with hate speech.

Abazovic’s principle based opposition to Markovic’s standpoints, expressed by the director of Action for Human Rights, Tea Gorjanc Prelević, and the dean of the Faculty of Law, Aneta Spaić, and supported by our organizations, reduced to the level ofpersonal animosityand thereby completely denied the concept of civic society and culture of human rights.

We remind that Marković’s standpoints, for which he refused to apologize, were characterized by the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro as a gross form of discrimination and hate speech. By supporting Marković, Abazović encourages hate speech in public space and suggests that for this he can be rewarded with membership in a team of prominent lawyers who can contribute to the interests of a civic state. Additionally, by declaring that it is the same to refuse to be in a working group with those who break the law and promote hatred towards a specific group, with those who tirelessly fight for human rights, the rule of law and democracy, he completely relativizes the concept of civic society and all the values on which it rests.

Of particular concern is the fact that the Prime minister comes from the Civic Movement URA, a political party that states in its Statute that it is “civic and democratic“, and whose programme goals include “constant affirmation of universal human rights and protection of individual freedoms“. Unfortunately, the views of the president of that party seriously deviate from such programme objectives of CM URA, and often directly contribute to the radicalization of public discourse.

We call on Prime Minister Abazović and the President of the Citizens’ Movement URA to seriously reconsider their positions once again before characterizing the violation of human rights and hate speech as “personal animosity“. Also, we appeal to the other officials of CM URA, as a party that is now in power and has underlined responsibility, to stick to the programme objectives of their party, which stipulate that they will advocate for the constant affirmation of universal human and civil rights.

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons – EQUALLY calls on the Prime Minister to stick to the concept of rejecting policies and social behaviors that would bring anyone to a subordinated and humiliated position by violent or formal legal means, and in to act in accordance with the proclaimed programme goals of his party. Any other approach limits the development of civic Montenegro, but also our path to the EU, because recently the EU Delegation clearly indicated that with the affirmation of misogynistic and homophobic attitudes is not the path to the EU.

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

Queer Montenegro
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Women’s Rights Center
Human Rights Action (HRA)
Active zone
Montenegrin Women’s Lobby
NGO Prima
Center for the Affirmation of RE Population (CAREP)
Center for the Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO)