Six non-governmental organizations – Human Rights Action (HRA), Association Spectra, Center for Women’s Rights (CWR), Centre for Civic Education (CCE), Montenegrin LGBTIQ association Queer Montenegro and NGO Prima – condemn hate speech against Roma and violation of children’s rights by Jovan Markuš, a former member of the National Commission for UNESCO.
After the sexism he publicly expressed towards the politician Vuksanović-Stanković, Markuš has now directed inappropriately towards Roma. Non-governmental organizations support the criminal complaint filed by the Roma Council against Markuš and expect that the competent state prosecutor approaches the assessment of this case taking into account both international standards and comparative practices in the field of combating hate speech.
In two posts on social networks, about which the Roma Council warned the public, Markus marked Roma by the derogatory term, and, abusing the fact that the majority of members of the Roma people live in poverty, alluded, without any evidence, that the Roma whose photos he exposed on the social network were paid to participate in political protest, i.e that they do not have their own political position. At the same time, in the same negative context, he also presented a minor child. Such behaviour is contrary to Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guarantees everyone the child’s right to protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference with his/her privacy and unlawful attacks on his/her honour and reputation.
Two non-governmental organizations, HRA and CWR, in January this year requested the then Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić to dismiss Markuš, because of his hate speech against women, from his membership in the National Commission for UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, but this was not done until July this year when the new government formed a new commission for state cooperation with UNESCO.
We believe that the state should adopt a national strategy for the fight against hate speech, i.e. all of their forms of causing or inciting hatred or intolerance on any basis, in accordance with the Constitution of Montenegro and recommendations of the Council of Europe.
Human Rights Action (HRA)
Center for Women’s Rights (CWR)
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Montenegrin LGBTIQ association Queer Montenegro