Human Rights Action (HRA) submitted today an initiative to the Constitutional Court of Montenegro to institute proceedings to review the constitutionality of Art. 145, para 4 of the Law on Electronic Communications, in order to prevent future arbitrary disabling of access to the Internet. On the day of parliamentary elections in Montenegro, 16 October 2016, the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services has requested Internet service providers to shut down communication via internet applications Viber and WhatsApp, which drew attention to the disputed provision of the law that allows the Agency to order operators to suspend internet and telephone communication in Montenegro whenever it finds it “justified in cases of fraud or abuse.” This authority of the Agency is defined too broadly and lacks judicial supervision, contrary to the standards of freedom of expression according to the Constitution of Montenegro and international human rights treaties.
Please find attached the initiative, as well as the letter of the Chairman of the Agency Zoran Sekulić addressed to operators Crnogorski Telekom, Mtel and Telenor on 16 October 2016. Mr. Sekulić later explained in an interview to daily Pobjeda that the Agency was authorized by Article 145, para 4 of the Law on Electronic Communications to issue such an order to the operators.