Statement: NSA should be politically and ideologically neutral

Question from the daily “Dan”:

How do you comment on the fact that the Army of Montenegro and the National Security Agency (NSA), during 2006, led the lists of political orientation of Pljevlja’s garrison officers regarding the referendum, as evidenced in the document released today in daily „Dan“?

Reply of our public policy researcher, Dina Bajramspahić:

NSA is obliged by Law on NSA to act politically and ideologically neutral and this case shows that many harsh criticisms on our intelligence agency are not totally unfounded and that NSA has in recent experience (the latest from 2006) activity of influencing the national political events. In insufficiently developed democracies, and unfortunately, sometimes even in those more developed, the national interest is often identified with the interest of the ruling elite, and the intelligence services are used as instruments for the implementation of these interests. This is unacceptable and endangers basic human rights and freedoms. Bearing in mind that the work of intelligence agencies is, by definition, secret, there will always be space for abuse of this type. That’s why it is necessary to develop all forms of oversight over the NSA. In Montenegrin legal framework there are all the sort of levels of control. However, the practice of supervision is not well developed and therefore a strong democratic and civilian control of the NSA is not yet achieved.

In its previous Progress Reports on Montenegro, the European Commission indicates politicization of the Montenegrin Government and the need for its professionalization, so this is no surprise. Newest allegations of political checks of eligibilities of employees of Army should be seen in that light. Any evaluation of the impact and contribution of Government employees, which is beyond the scope of their expertise and work quality and ability, is illegal, discriminatory and as such deserves reaction of prosecution.

The answer was published in today’s edition of “Dan”

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