Reaction of the Equality Coalition to Prime Minister Abazović’s Attack on the Association Parents

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons Equality, within which 37 non-governmental organisations and institutions cooperate, strongly condemns the verbal attack by Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović, on the Association Parents and expresses its full support to this organization that has been dedicated to improving the position of parents and children in Montenegro for years, as evidenced by the concrete results of their work.

It is inadmissible for the Prime Minister to use false accusations to undermine the reputation of the non-governmental organizations that with valid arguments criticize the Government’s decisions which are not in the interest of children or their education.

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons Equality reminds that civil society organizations and activists in Montenegro are under attack by certain politicians from both the government and the opposition, as well as by the emerging political movements, that use every opportunity to express their disagreement with their public actions or lack of those actions. The methods seem to be always the same – groundless accusations that “inappropriate” organizations belong to the opposite political structures, foreign interest groups, mercenaries, etc. The continuity of this practice, the incumbent Prime Minister also follows, is concerning.  This is even more so given it comes from such a position of power.

We would like to remind the Prime Minister that the non-governmental sector should be a strong control mechanism of the government – whoever is performing it, which are also citizens’ expectations, as indicated by the relevant public opinion polls. The decision-makers’ democratic capacity, or lack of that capacity, is measured, among other things, by their attitude towards the critically oriented NGO sector.

We will continue to exercise our control role and to point out to the detrimental decisions that violate the interests of the citizens of Montenegro, especially the interests of vulnerable groups, among whom are certainly children.

The Coalition for the Rights of LGBTIQ+ Persons Equality calls on the Prime Minister to refrain from statements that are out of keeping with his office, to stop labelling NGOs that do their work, and to demonstrate responsibility by creating a friendly environment for the work of non-governmental organizations. There is no functioning democracy in a society where non-governmental organizations are not able to express their critical views without fearing form an attack.

Association Spectra
Human Rights Action
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Center for Women’s Rights
Montenegrin Harm Reduction Network LINK
Union of High School Students of Montenegro
Montenegrin Women’s Lobby
Association Stana
Center for Women’s and Peace Education – ANIMA
Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM)
Center for Monitoring and Research (CeMI)
Center for Affirmation of RE Population
NGO Prima
Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Queer Montenegro
Center for the Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO)
Institute Alternativa