Fifty-five members of the Together for LGBTI Rights Coalition, which brings together NGOs and institutions working to promote the human rights of LGBTI people in Montenegro, strongly condemn the hate speech of Human Rights Committee Chairman Jovan Vucurovic and Democratic Front MP Jelena Bozovic during a debate on the change of amendments to the Law on Social and Child Protection.
We reiterate to the public that this is not the first time that the Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms has expressed such views, which are not only discriminatory, but also represent hate speech and human rights violations of the LGBTI community in Montenegro. Also, with his engagement so far, Vučurović has proved that he does not understand the concept of human rights, their universality, indivisibility, inalienability, but also interdependence. If he understood that, he would not state that any human right of any marginalized group can harm the rights of another group or community, but he would rather be the first to fight for the human rights of the marginalized. Thus, his statements become a serious obstacle to the otherwise unacceptably slow process of LGBTI community inclusion.
The Coalition Together for LGBTI Rights also condemns the hate speech of the DF MP and member of the Committee for Human Rights and Freedoms, Jelena Božović, which deepens the existing inequalities, and contributes to strengthening prejudices against LGBTI people in Montenegro.
It is inadmissible that such attitudes come from the Parliament of Montenegro, and from the Committee itself, because it makes senseless institutional efforts to establish a system of equality of human rights in our society.
We remind the public, as well as MP Vučurović and MP Božović, that the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms of the Parliament of Montenegro considers draft laws, other regulations and general acts and other issues related to freedoms and rights of both man and citizen, with special reference to minorities rights. Therefore, if the two of them cannot come to terms with the fact that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Montenegro do not belong to any special rights that should be granted to them outside the existing corpus of human rights , we are already talking about the same, universal, human rights that should apply to every individual, and which no one has the right to deny.
The authorities in the Parliament of Montenegro should raise the issue of responsibility for the work of these two members, ie their membership in the Board, because expressed hate speech, homophobia and discrimination do more damage to its work, and thus to the institution of the Parliament.
We also strongly condemn the hate speech and MP Nikola Bajčetić, which he expressed on his Twitter account, with an appeal to the MP to try to understand that hate speech appears as a source of general danger, which encourages and justifies intolerance and, ultimately, violence. Bajčetić must understand that such flirting with hatred and its justification leads to unforeseeable consequences.
Finally, we call on the leadership of the Parliament of Montenegro to make efforts to prevent and adequately sanction incitement to hatred and intolerance towards LGBTI people in that institution. We appeal to the deputies to continue with serious work in the part of harmonizing the law with the Law on Life Partnership of Persons of the Same Sex, so that the LGBTI community has the opportunity to exercise all basic human rights.
NGO Human Rights Action
NGO ANIMA – Center for Women’s and Peace Education
NGO Center for Monitoring and Research – CeMI
NGO Active Zone
NGO Center for the Development of Non-Governmental Organizations (CRNVO)
NGO Center for Civic Education (CCE)
NGO Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM)
NGO Montenegrin Women’s Lobby
NGO SOS hotline for women and children victims of violence Nikšić
Montenegrin Olympic Committee
NGO Forum Youth and Non-Formal Education – Forum MNE
NGO Women’s Rights Center
NGO Center for Affirmation of the RE Population – CAREP
NGO Union of High School Students
NGO European Movement in Montenegro
NGO Center for Roma Initiatives
NGO Safe Women’s House
NGO Institute of Alternatives
NGO Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association Queer Montenegro