It is of utmost importance to identify the individuals responsible for the attacks on the police, but also on protestors, representatives of the press, as well as government and private property. It is these persons’ actions that through a series of criminal offences shifted the tides of a peaceful protest into one violent and illegal in nature, to the detriment of the majority of gathered citizens as well as the country as a whole. Although the vast majority of the aforementioned perpetrators of the attacks in front of the House of Parliament were masked, most of their violent actions have been documented upon numerous digital recordings, which should be of assistance to the police task of finding and processing these individuals accordingly. We call for this process to be swift and transparent, in order to prevent further crimes of the similar nature and context.
On the other hand, the attacks on the police cannot, nor can anything else, justify the execution of non-proportional force upon the crowd by government officials. The monstrous beatings of citizens Martinović, Raičević, several unidentified individuals in the goldsmith’s street (Zlatarska ulica), as well as other unarmed, non-resisting persons all illustrate the mass torture that took place upon the streets of Podgorica, even after the legal disbanding of the protests. We expect the state prosecutor to identify and prosecute all police officers involved in these incidents, as well as the officials who ordered the beatings, and their colleagues who did not intervene to stop what qualifies as severe torture. Director of Police Stojanović should immediately exert disciplinary actions on all subordinate personnel and officers who failed to report these, and many other documented cases of an overstepping of police authority, leading him to, at a press conference in front of the global public, state that the police was “absolutely on board with the task”, and for minister of interior Konjević to say that “the police acted in accordance with the law”. If not, the director should resign from his position.
The director of police, minister of internal affairs, and the Supreme state prosecutor in the 21st century should all be prepared to treat bestial behavior by the police as a direct attack on the state. If cases of torture in Montenegro had been properly addressed on time (e.g. the beatings of prisoners in Spuž in 2005 and of Aleksandar Pejanović in the police in 2005), we wouldn’t all be faced with distressing scenes in 2015.
We expect for the public to be notified of individuals apprehended for attacks on the day of the protests, as well as of police officers for overstepping their authority. If the Police Directorate and the Ministry of Interior do not investigate and sanction the actions of their officials, both minister Konjević and director Stojanović should suffer the consequences and resign from office.
We plead to the people to report any criminal acts that they are aware of taking place on Saturday evening to the Basic State Prosecutor and to the Police, and if the crimes were committed by the police, then to the Council for Civil Control over the Work of Police, a body that has shown its ability for taking impartial action in such matters.
Tea Gorjanc Prelević, Executive director of the NGO “Human Rights Action”
Ivana Vujović, Executive director of the NGO “Juventas”
Maja Raičević, Executive director of the NGO “Women’s Rights Centre”
Zlatko Vujović, President of MB of the NGO “Centre for Research and Monitoring (CeMI)”
Danijel Kalezić, President of MB of the NGO ”Queer Montenegro”
Stevan Milivojević, Executive director of the NGO LGBT ”Forum Progress”