The Parents Association and the Human Rights Action are calling on the authorities to conduct an urgent and thorough investigation and appropriately sanction all who participated in two events in which teenagers were recently beaten in Podgorica.
We are asking for a detailed look at who it was that participated in the violence in both these cases; namely, as the media reported, in the first case, which happened a little less than a month ago, a minor was tortured by the same person who resorted to violence in the second case, which took place yesterday. It is necessary to establish the identities not only of those who directly used violence, but of those who helped and encouraged them as well.
We are asking the prosecutor’s office to investigate whether any of the perpetrator’s friends, who attended the event, committed the criminal offence of failure to provide assistance under Article 157 of the Criminal Code of Montenegro, especially in light of the serious consequences of violence committed against a minor victim.
We demand that the authorities protect children from bullies and violence, which seems to have become a part of our everyday life, and – even more dangerously – acceptable behaviour for which people are not punished even when they repeat it.
We remind that the state is obliged to conduct an effective investigation of ill-treatment, even when it is committed by third parties who are not civil servants (European Court of Human Rights, in the case of the Alković family v. Montenegro, 2017).
Our children should not have to fear bullies for any reason, especially not because of the football club shirt they wear.
Bearing in mind the information published in the media, that the parents of the two suspects are long-term employees of the Police Administration, we ask that it be investigated whether the competent prosecutor was under pressure not to detain the person who was suspected of serious violence for 72 hours, as is customary in similar cases?
Having in mind the ineffective investigations of police torture and the benevolence of the system towards violent offenders, it is necessary to keep this case under scrutiny. We should not allow it to be covered up and to jeopardise the safety of another child.
We should not allow such behaviour to be repeated in the future, as children are not to blame for the fact that we, as a society, have a big problem with violent behaviour at all levels. The kind of atmosphere in which we live requires everyone to be highly sensitive, especially the police, the prosecution and the judiciary.
We also remind that, due to violence and the threatened safety of children, the Parents Association requested an emergency session of the Council for the Rights of the Child of the Government of Montenegro in September last year, to which representatives of the prosecution, the judiciary and the police were supposed to be invited. However, despite the announcements, the session was never held.