Appeal to Investigate all Incidents in Pljevlja

So far, four people have been prosecuted for incidents in Pljevlja – two for two crimes committed to the detriment of three individuals and two people for a total of three misdemeanors.

The Human Rights Action (HRA) and Institute Alternative (IA) requested information from the Police Administration on how many misdemeanor and criminal charges were filed by the competent institutions and citizens in the period from 31 August to 9 September in the context of disruption of public peace and order and incitement to national, racial and religious hatred (Article 370 of Montenegrin Criminal Code), endangering the safety of citizens (Article 168 of CC) or other criminal offences that may have occurred in the context of increased tensions following the announcement of the election results in Pljevlja and other places in Montenegro.

The Police Administration replied that from August 31 to September 9, a total of two criminal charges were filed against two individuals for two criminal offences to the detriment of three individuals, namely for the criminal offence of inciting national, racial and religious hatred and the criminal offence of grievous bodily harm.  In addition, two misdemeanor charges were filed against two individuals for three offences, namely “gross insult and especially insolent behaviour” as well as “physical assault or physical confrontation” with “gross insult and especially insolent behaviour”.

Also, regarding the statement of the former Chief Imam of the Islamic Community in Pljevlja, Mr. Samir Kadribasic, that he was worried the attack on the premises of the Islamic Community was qualified only as a misdemeanor, we asked the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office (ODT) in Pljevlja how the attack was qualified. ODT in Pljevlja said the attack on the premises of the Islamic Community – by breaking the glass on the front door and inserting the message “A black bird has flown, Pljevlja will become Srebrenica” was qualified as a criminal offence of inciting national, racial and religious hatred.

In that case, as far as is known, there are still no suspects, i.e. no criminal charges have been filed against anyone.

The HRA and the IA assess that the totality of criminal charges for post-election incidents is what remains as official data on the proportions of these incidents. Although there is information about intimidation of citizens and writing other messages of hatred in Pljevlja, the fact is that all these incidents and their perpetrators were not reported to the police, and that the police did not immediately react to the incidents by filing criminal charges against specific persons.

We hope that incitement to hatred will not be repeated in Montenegro in any way, especially not by belittling war crimes and their victims. We encourage citizens to report such incidents and their perpetrators, so that there is a basis for them to be punished and thus to prevent similar behaviour. We appeal to the Police to discover the perpetrator(s) of the attack on the premises of the Islamic Community and to identify the perpetrators of other incidents that were reported to it.

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