7/2/2017 ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THE CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS BY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION: STRICTER PUNISHMENT FOR TORTURE, MURDER AND TORTURE SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO STATUTE OF LIMITATION

Kategorija / Category: saopštenja

To the end of protecting the right to life and prohibition of torture, Human Rights Action (HRA) proposed to the Ministry of Justice to prescribe in the Criminal Code of Montenegro (CC) that criminal prosecution and execution of sentences for murder and torture should not be subject to statute of limitation and to provide for stricter penalties for criminal offences relating to acts of torture.

Bearing in mind the concerning trend of increasing number of murders in Montenegro, of which many remain not clarified, as well as impunity for police torture, which is either not punished at all or by too lenient penalties, by adopting proposed amendments the State would act responsibly in order to prevent murders and torture and protect fundamental human rights in accordance with international standards.

Furthermore, the state would be accepting recommendations of the Committee against Torture, which in 2014 proposed to Montenegro to complement the definition of torture, prescribe stricter penalties for torture and ensure that acts amounting to torture are not be subject to any statute of limitations (https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G14/054/80/PDF/G1405480.pdf?OpenElement).

The Committee asked the Government of Montenegro again in December 2016  whether it intends to amend the CC in this regard any time soon.

HRA proposed the stated amendments to the Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković for the first time in June 2013, and then to the Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin in August 2016. Yesterday, we did it again, in accordance with the program of public debate on the Draft Law on Amendments to the CC, which runs until 20 February 2017.

HRA reminds that Montenegro already secured that the corruption related offences do not expire [1], as ensured by amendments of CC in 2014. This provided important contribution to the fight against corruption. However, it is obvious today that the offences of murder and torture represent at least equal if not greater threat to society and should also not be subject to any statute of limitations.

HRA letter (in Montenegrin) sent to the Ministry of Justice with these and other comments on the Draft law on amendments to the CC is available at here.

[1] The corruption-related criminal offences (Art. 264 to 276b CC) are as follows: Tax and contribution evasion, Smuggling, Forbidden banking, stock-exchange and insurance transactions, Issuing uncovered bonds, Money laundering, Violation of equality in the conduct of business activities, Abuse of monopolistic position, Unauthorised use of another’s company name, Negligent performance of business activities, Causing bankruptcy procedure, Causing false bankruptcy, Damaging creditors, Abuse of authority in economy, Passive bribery in business sector and bribery in business.