Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Statement regarding the Misdemeanor Court decision in Bijelo Polje

The decision of the Court for Misdemeanors in Bijelo Polje, Kolašin department is another in a series of disappointments demonstrating the inability of competent institutions to ensure protection and access to justice for victims. I am particularly disappointed by the fact that a misdemeanor charge was filed against the perpetrator of sexual violence and that it incorporated a charge for disturbance of public order and peace against a woman who defended herself from the sexual abuser. 

It is particularly devastating that the judge deemed the woman victim of violence responsible, because at the time of the attack she did not call the police but defended herself. Such attitude of the Police and the Court for Misdemeanors deters all future victims from reporting violence and privileges the perpetrator of violence by imposing only a fine, just as if he crossed the street outside the pedestrian crossing. 

Of particular concern is the fact that the aforementioned decision was made by the long-term President of the Court for Misdemeanors in Bijelo Polje,  a former judge of the Constitutional Court candidate, who attended numerous trainings on the topic of violence against women. During those trainins, he could have learned that victims react differently at the time of an attack and that personal assumptions about how the victim should have reacted are not the reasons for their condemnation. 

Judge Beganović’s decision is proof that the knowledge of the holders of judicial functions often lags behind the adopted standards for the protection of human rights, and warns of the importance of urgent reform of the judiciary, which will guarantee the rights of victims. This case also confirms the justification of the recent amendments to the Criminal Code, which stipulates sexual harassment as a criminal offense.

 We expect fair and effective action by the higher judicial authorities and we are closely following the case.”

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment