Human Rights Action (HRA) condemns the proposal of the Administrative Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro for dismissal of a member of the Council of Radio-Television of Montenegro, Goran Đurović, as it considers the proposal in breach of law. The proposal of the Administrative Committee has not been based on the Law on the National Public Broadcaster of Radio and Television of Montenegro (RTCG), which is the only law prescribing reasons for dismissal of members of the RTCG Council. HRA supported Đurovic for membership in the Council of RTCG and, if the Assembly will dismiss him now from this function on the basis of the illegal proposal of the Administrative Committee, we will fight against such decision with all available domestic and international legal remedies in the public interest of protecting the freedom of expression and legal order of Montenegro.
The Administrative Committee proposed the dismissal of Đurović due to the alleged conflict of interest, as the Agency for Prevention of Corruption found that he committed a misdemeanor of not timely reporting that during his membership in the Council he was for a while also the executive director of a private company engaged in agricultural production. However, the Agency for Prevention of Corruption concluded in the same decision that this misdemeanor does not mean a conflict of interest from Article 26 of the Law on National Public Broadcaster of Radio and Television of Montenegro, so there is no reason for Đurović’s dismissal from membership of the RTCG council.
HRA appeals to the deputies to read articles 26 and 42 of the Law on the National Public Broadcaster of Radio and Television of Montenegro before deciding on the proposal of the Administrative Committee, stipulating reasons for dismissal of a member of the Council and clarifying the notion of conflict of interest, the decision of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, stating that Đurović is not in conflict of interest, as well as the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe No. R (96) 10 “Guarantee of the Independence of Public Service Broadcasting”, instructing the state how to secure the independence and impartiality of the governing body of the public service against political pressures.