CSOs and Media demanding from Montenegrin Government to suspend public hearing on FOI Law during COVID19 outbreak


CSOs and Media demanding from Montenegrin Government to suspend public hearing on FOI Law during COVID19 outbreak

(Source: mans.co.me)

We are urging the Ministry of Public Administration to postpone public debate on the Law on Free Access to Information after the coronavirus pandemicand to publish opinions of the European Union experts on that regulation.

We believe that it is inappropriate momentfor the Ministry to organize a public debate on the constitutional right of citizens to access to information, when they are locked in their homes and when there are no sessions of the Parliament, and it is not certain when the sittings of the ordinary sessions will resume due to extraordinary measures.

A few days ago, the Ministry announced that it was putting the proposed draft amendments to the public re-hearing and requested written comments by 4 April.

Such case is an unprecedented example of misuse of a public debate institute, especially given that the Law in no way falls under the category of laws that need to be urgently amended, particularly in the period of unprecedented crisis and on the verge of the state of emergency.

Moreover, the law has been sharply criticized by numerous journalists, representatives of the non-governmental sector, as well as international experts. Despite this, the Ministry is now, in the midst of a pandemic, trying to simulate a public debate on the law.

There is virtually no public space for discussion that this law deserves, and it is inappropriate to create it by force in a climate of collective fear of an impending epidemic.

Bearing in mind that the Law on Free Access to Information is a key tool for investigative journalists and NGOs that monitor the work of state bodies, it is particularly worrying that this law is amended in this way, several months before the parliamentary elections.

It is precisely the situation with the coronavirus pandemic that shows how important it is for public informing to be based on official and verified data, leaving minimal space for fake news and unverified information.

Because of all this, we urge the Ministry to publish all opinions of international experts given on the draft amendments to this law, because it is their obligation stipulated precisely by this law.

Lastly, we urge the Ministry to postpone the public debate on the law defining the right of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution and numerous international conventions, as long as the Government’s measures restricting the movement of citizens are in force.


The undersigned NGOs and journalists:

NVO Mreža za afirmaciju nevladinog sektora – MANS

NVO Akcija za ljudska prava HRA

NVO Institut alternativa

NVO Centar za monitoring i istraživanja – CEMI

NVO Centar za građanske slobode – CEGAS

NVO Centar za demokratsku tranziciju – CDT

Centar za istraživačko novinarstvo Crne Gore CIN-CG

NVO Centar za demokratiju i ljudska prava – CEDEM

NVO 35 mm

Ekološki pokret OZON

NVO Centar za zaštitu i proučavanje ptica – CZIP

NVO Green Home

NVO Expeditio

NVO Media centar

NVU Centar za ženska prava – CŽP

NVO Mladi Romi

NVO Evropska asocijacija za pravo i finansije (EALF)

NVO Sigurna ženska kuća – SŽK

LGBT Forum Progres

Romska organizacija mladih “Koračajte sa nama – Phiren amenca”

Politikon mreža

Crnogorski komitet pravnika za zaštitu ljudskih prava (CKZP)

NVO Prima

Institut za poslovnu i finansijsku pismenost

NVO Udruženje mladih sa hendikepom Crne Gore – UMHCG

NVO Anima

Udruženje paraplegičara Crne Gore

NVO Centar za preduzetništvo

Udruženje paraplegičara Bijelo Polje i Mojkovac

Unija slobodnih sindikata Crne Gore

NVO Udruženje za razvoj civilnog društva Bijelo Polje

Dr Martin Schneider – Jacoby Association MSJA

NVO Stečajci u Crnoj Gori

Fondacija Pomoć – Akcija za sjever Crne Gore

Sindikat doktora medicine Crne Gore

NVO Nada Herceg Novi

NVO Multimedijal Montenegro – Mmne


NVO Pandora

NVO Identitet

NVO Ruka ruci

Media representatives:

Marijana Bojanić, director, TV Vijesti

Nikola Marković, editor, DAN

Tatjana Ašanin, editor, TV Vijesti

Svetlana Đokić, journalist, TV Vijesti

Darko Ivanović, journalist

Jelena Jovanović, journalist, ND Vijesti

Mihailo Jovović, program editor, ND Vijesti

Goran Kapor, journalist, ND Vijesti

Damira Kalač, journalist, ND Vijesti

Srdan Kosović, editor, ND Vijesti

Vuk Lajović, journalist, ND Vijesti

Danijela Lasica, journalist, TV Vijesti

Draško Milačić, journalist, DAN

Milorad Milošević, journalist, ND Vijesti

Milka Tadić Mijović, director, CIN-CG

Ana Ostojić, journalist, DAN

Vladimir Otašević, journalist, DAN

Milica Krgović, journalist, DAN

Tina Popović, editor, ND Vijesti

Miloš Rudović, journalist, ND Vijesti

Danilo Ajković, journalist, TV Vijesti

Majda Šabotić, journalist, TV Vijesti

Marko Vešović, journalist, DAN

Tijana Pravilović, journalist, TV Vijesti

Milena Perović Korać, journalist, Monitor

Siniša Luković, journalist, ND Vijesti

Marija Mirjačić, journalist, ND Vijesti

Jovan Nikitović, journalist, Pobjed