Protest against revisionist renaming of street in Pljevlja

Non-governmental organizations Human Rights Action (HRA), Centre for Civic Education (CCE), and ANIMA Centre for Women’s and Peace Education express strong protest against the renaming of Tivatska Street in Pljevlja to Branko Krvavac Street, a soldier of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) who died in the aggression on the Dubrovnik-Herzegovina area in Croatia in October 1991. We consider this action to be contrary to the Law on Memorial Monuments of Montenegro and an example of negative historical revisionism.

It has been announced that Krvavac, as a member of the JNA, lost his life in the Dubrovnik-Herzegovina war zone while providing assistance to a wounded commander.

The aggressive attack by the JNA on Dubrovnik, in which predominantly citizens of Montenegro participated, is the greatest shame of our country in recent history.

The sorrow of the family and friends is understandable because the then authorities led many into that war, who unfortunately also perished, like Krvavac. However, the basic fact is that all the deceased (166) were members of the aggressor forces of the JNA, territorial defense, or the Ministry of the Interior of Montenegro, which shelled, looted, and killed civilians in the Dubrovnik area, and their deeds do not represent a historical achievement worthy of any celebration.

According to the Law on Memorial Monuments, a memorial monument can also be the name of a public facility such as a street, only if it symbolizes the values prescribed by law, which are: to commemorate significant events, preserve the memory of prominent personalities, nurture human ideals and cultural-historical traditions, and pay tribute to freedom fighters, civilian war victims, and mass human casualties. Furthermore, an eminent figure, according to the Law, is considered to be a person who: 1) has made a special contribution to the state, social, economic, scientific, or cultural development of Montenegro or a specific area or place in Montenegro; 2) whose work has international historical, scientific, cultural, humanitarian, or sports significance; 3) who was an organizer or prominent participant in the liberation war, uprising, or movement; 4) who has distinguished themselves in the fight against fascism.

We particularly draw attention to the fact that the Law clearly stipulates that it is not allowed to erect a memorial monument, among other things, to a person who collaborated with the occupier, its ally, or helper; a person who advocated fascist, chauvinistic, or Nazi ideas or ideologies; or a person who has had a negative role in the history of Montenegro or in the history of mankind.

The Republic of Croatia declared independence from the federal state of the SFR Yugoslavia in June 1991. In October 1991, the JNA, without any attack from Croatian territory on its forces in Montenegro or Bosnia and Herzegovina, carried out an aggressive attack on Dubrovnik and its hinterland and the Konavle area to the border with Montenegro.

By naming streets, squares, and settlements, we contribute to preserving the identity and values that characterize our country. We strongly oppose such glorification of aggressive warfare because we do not want such horrors to be repeated for our children, the children of Dubrovnik, or any future generation.

We demand from local authorities and political parties to act responsibly when making important decisions regarding the naming of streets and the erection of memorial monuments in local communities.

Everyone should know that democracy no longer simply means the rule of the majority, but requires consideration for the human rights of all.

Human Rights Action (HRA)
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
ANIMA – Centre for Peace and Women’s Education