In relation to three cases of alleged police torture, which the three participants in the investigation of the so-called “bomb attacks” on the “Grand” bar and Dusko Golubovic’s house reported on May 26, May 28 and June 4, Human Rights Action (HRA) sent a communication to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Mr. Nils Melzer on July 28, with the consent of Jovan Grujicic, MB and Benjamin Mugosa.
On October 19, the UN Office published a letter that Mr. Melzer and Ms. Elina Steinerte, Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, who joined him, sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro two months ago.
In relation to all three persons, Melzer and Steinerte expressed “serious concern about the alleged arbitrary arrest and detention, violations of their rights to liberty and security, use of coercive methods of questioning and interrogation with intimidation, coercion and mistreatment which may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. It was further pointed out that, “Should these allegations be confirmed, they would constitute violations of international human rights treaties and, accordingly, the obligations of Montenegro.”
The letter emphasized, as of particular concern, the fact that Mr. Jovan Grujicic, as a person with a psychosocial disability, was taken from a mental health facility and transferred to police custody without a medical examination, without a lawyer and appropriate procedural accommodation, medication and psychosocial support, and in addition, was ill-treated.
The two of them stated that such conduct constitutes a violation of the rights of persons with disabilities, which are protected by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Montenegro on November 2, 2009. This Convention, in particular Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 25, requires States to ensure “that when persons with disabilities who are deprived of their liberty through any process, are entitled to guarantees in accordance with international human rights standards, including safeguards to prevent abuse, provision of reasonable and procedural accommodation, access to justice, liberty and security, protecting the integrity of the person, the right to health and the right not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, on an equal basis with others.” Mr. Melzer and Ms. Steinerte pointed in particular to Human Rights Council Resolution 31/31, which provides for the obligation of law enforcement officials “to respect and protect the inherent dignity and physical and mental integrity of all persons under questioning, including suspects, witnesses and victims.”
They also urged for all necessary interim measures to be taken “to halt the alleged violations and prevent their re-occurrence, and, in the event that the investigations supports or suggests the allegations to be correct, to ensure the accountability of any person(s) responsible for the alleged violations.”
The Montenegrin Government had 60 days to respond to questions from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, but had not responded to date.
On July 30 this year, HRA filed a complaint to Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office and other members of the Prosecutorial Council warning against ineffective investigation of allegations of torture by state prosecutors, to which we had not received a response to date. In cooperation with the Autonomous Civic Movement, on October 2, 2020, HRA publicly protested against the ineffective investigation in which, apart from questioning the defendants, forensic examination of injuries and questioning the father of one of the defendants, no other actions had been taken.