UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT NOTIFIED OF COMPLAINTS OF POLICE TORTURE IN THE “BOMB ATTACK” INVESTIGATION

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23/07/2020

UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT NOTIFIED OF COMPLAINTS OF POLICE TORTURE IN THE “BOMB ATTACK” INVESTIGATION

The Human Rights Action (HRA), in cooperation with the Autonomous Civil Movement (ACM), informed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Mr. Nils Melzer, about complaints of torture by criminalistic police officers in SC Podgorica over Jovan Grujičić, accused for “bomb attacks” on the “Grand” bar and the house of Duško Golubović, and M. B, who is being treated as a witness in that case. We have informed the Special Rapporteur of the fact that, even two months after the complaints were filed, we have no cognizance of the results of the investigation. We pointed out the omission in the expert examination of bodily injuries of Jovan Grujičić, as well as the fact that the lawyer of M.B. for three weeks has not been able to inspect the case files because the state prosecutor is allegedly on leave. The complaint of torture by Benjamin Mugoša, who was treated as a suspect in the same case, and whose lawyer will refer to the Special Rapporteur, was also pointed out in the communication.

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture confirmed that he had received the application. He may decide to send a letter to the government and / or other competent state authorities, requesting a statement on certain circumstances regarding those applications. The state then has 60 days to respond to the letter. The Special Rapporteur may also send an urgent communication to the Government if he considers that a situation should be resolved as soon as possible.

HRA and ACM are determined to monitor the conduct of investigations into reported cases of police torture in the case of the investigation of “bomb attacks” and to inform the authorities both in the country and abroad about the detected omissions in these investigations. We remind the public that time is very important in the investigation of police torture, that actions must be taken urgently, impartially and thoroughly, and we are concerned that this is not being done at the moment.

These latest allegations of torture are also the last chance for the state to prove that it has taken seriously the warnings of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) to Montenegro from 2017 that ill-treatment is an accepted practice among criminalistic inspectors in the Police Directorate. This must be stopped definitively in order to achieve the rule of law and the protection of human rights in a country aspiring to become a member of the European Union.