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It is our great pleasure to share with you the results of the National research project titled “Montenegrin LGBTIQ Community in the Eyes of Presidential Candidates”, in the form of the attached Research Report. This Report is the result of a very successful process of collecting, processing and analyzing data that we directly and indirectly collected from the presidential candidates.

korica1engThe aim of this research is to provide an objective, impartial and factual overview of the views and opinions of the presidential candidates in Montenegro, to all LGBTIQ people in Montenegro, in the domain of issues of importance for LGBTIQ community.The results of this research can in no way be interpreted as support or lack of support for any candidate, but only and solely as means of informing and observing all facts, through the prism of the LGBTIQ community.

Of the total of seven candidates to which the questionnaire was sent, Bojanic Mladen, Dedeic Dobrilo, Djukanovic Milo and Vuksanovic Draginja submitted the answers. Candidates Kalac Hazbija, Milacic Marko and Milickovic Vasilije did not submit their answers.

“The idea that stands behind this whole process is to give facts to all LGBTIQ persons, in a form of a detailed report, with all the accompanying analysis and overviews, in order for them to be able to make an informed decision when choosing a candidate in presidential elections. Additionally, we really have to emphasise that this research is the first of its kind in Montenegro, both because of its grasp and reach, as well as because of the fact that the same process will be repeated for the local elections in the municipality of Podgorica, as the most populated city in Montenegro. Both of these researches are being done in cooperation with our partners from NGO LGBTIQ Social Center, which recognised its relevance and many benefits that it will have for the LGBTIQ community in Montenegro” – Bojana Jokić, President, LGBT Forum Progress.

The conclusions that the research team of NGOs LGBT Forum Progress and LGBTIQ Social Center made are as follows:

1. Despite the fact that LGBTIQ related topics can be found in the programme documents of the parties, that is in the programmes of presidential candidates, both in positive and negative way, it has been noted that all presidential candidates, in their public speeches, at the conventions, when making statements to different media, in political debates and other forms of communication with the public refrained from directly referring to LGBTIQ persons or LGBTIQ themes.

2. During their public addresses, certain candidates called for respect for human rights, including and encumbering most minority and vulnerable groups, while completely ignoring the LGBTIQ population.

This restraint is a clear indication that presidential candidates not only do not recognize LGBTIQ persons as a potential voting body but, on the contrary, see them as a potential obstacle and believe they can produce losses with certain segments of the voting body. This fear of presidential candidates leads to political calculations, so they use the line of least resistance, that is, the exclusion of LGBTIQ persons from public discourse.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 20183. An additional component that is recognized in the analysis of presidential campaigns is the openness of certain candidates to represent the idea of limiting the rights of the LGBTIQ com-munity, including rights to free assembly, organized action, the right to regulate same-sex com-munities, and certain issues that are still not open among the Montenegrin LGBTIQ movement, such as the adoption of children or foster care.

4. When discussing the contents of the programmes of the presidential candidates, it was noticed that no presidential candidate recognized the importance of education as a proactive way of reducing the social marginalization of minority groups, including the LGBTIQ community. In addition, it is noteworthy that no presidential candidate, as part of their programme or public presentation, has addressed the issue of peer violence, which is particularly impacting young LGBTIQ persons.

5. During the campaign analysis, the research team noted that there were no open and publicly out LGBTIQ persons in the campaigns, either directly, through promotional videos, or in any other form of engagement in campaigns. This also confirms the still present, already mentioned wish of political parties, structures and association to disable the direct participation of LGBTIQ people in politics. The mere fact that three out of seven candidates did not submit their answers at all points to the unwillingness of political leaders to involve LGBTIQ people, both in political discourse and public life in Montenegro.

6. Out of all the analysed programmes, LGBTIQ persons are directly referenced in only one case in a positive sense, while in the programme of one political candidate LGBTIQ related topics are mentioned in a negative context, that is, in the context of the prohibition or limitation of the rights of the LGBTIQ community. In an additional media address of one presidential candidates LGBTIQ related topics and people are also mentioned in a negative context. As part of the analysis of other candidates, there are no references to LGBTIQ persons in a direct context.

Realizing that the first step in resolving the problem is its recognition, we hope that this research and the overall report will not only be a useful tool for all LGBTIQ people in Montenegro in their selection of candidates in the elections, but also a reminder that an inclusive society cannot be built without the full participation of all citizens.

The National Research “Montenegrin LGBTIQ Community in the Eyes of Presidential Candidates” and the accompanying Research Report are financially supported by ILGA-Europe, under their Creating Opportunities programme. Opinions, evaluations, conclusions and recommendations presented are the author’s work and do not mandatorily reflect the donor’s official positions.

The Report can be found HERE.

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MNE rainbowIn expectation of the forthcoming presidential elections in Montenegro, non-governmental organisations LGBT Forum Progres and LGBTIQ Social Center today sent-out a questionnaire to all individuals who submitted their candidacy for the President of Montenegro. This questionnaire is a part of the research conducted by these non-governmental organizations in order to gather information which is of importance for all LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro regarding opinions, views and views of presidential candidates about the LGBTIQ community in Montenegro.

The questionnaire was sent electronically to the following candidates: (in alphabetical order)

  1. Bojanic Mladen,
  2. Dedeic Dobrilo,
  3. Djukanovic Milo,
  4. Kalac Hazbija,
  5. Milacic Marko,
  6. Milickovic Vasilije, and
  7. Vuksanovic Draginja.

Together with the questionnaire, candidates received detailed instructions for completing it, as well as an objective deadline of 7 (seven) days (ending on 04/04/2018) to submit their answers. After the expiration of this deadline, all received responses will be analysed and statistically processed, and made into a detailed report which will then be shared with the Montenegrin and international public. The report will contain the individual responses of all candidates, as well as a statistical overview of the processed material.

All candidates who do not deliver their answers within the stated deadline or refuse to answer will, in the Report, next to their name have the “Refused to Participate” tag, explaining that the candidate did not want to cooperate. Additional information on the activities of candidates regarding this questionnaire will be timely shared with the Montenegrin public.

We have to point out that all LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro, who have the right to vote, are potential voters of any of the presidential candidates and it is of the utmost importance that the LGBTIQ community is appropriately accepted and that all our problems are found on the candidate’s agenda, in order to find common and sustainable solutions. Having this in mind, we hope for the full response of all candidates who, by completing this questionnaire, will truly show their political and civic maturity and responsibility.

Also, we are aware of the fact that some candidates do not have the LGBTIQ community as the focus of their political programmes, or they may not look kindly on the problems and needs of LGBTIQ people in Montenegro, but precisely for overcoming this gap, we invite them to express their opinions and comments precisely through filling this questionnaire.

Finally, on this occasion, we announce that, in addition to presidential elections, LGBT Forum Progress and LGBTIQ Social Center will conduct research among all the electoral lists that will be formed and submitted for local elections in Podgorica, also regarding the LGBTIQ community. Both of these activities are implemented with the support of ILGA-Europe.

LGBT Forum Progress and LGBTIQ Social Centre

You can find the questionnaire, in Montenegrin, HERE.

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memoriam elmir

It is with great sadness and pain in our hearts that we say goodbye to our colleague and dear friend Elmir Djokovic, who passed away yesterday in Podgorica, after a short and difficult illness.

We lost a wonderful colleague and friend, whose dear face, positive spirit, and kindness will always stay with us. We will remember him as a dedicated and tireless human rights defender, extraordinary author and intellectual, and a kind of father figure to many young LGBT people in Montenegro.

Dear Elmir, thank you for being an irreplaceable part of our team for more than six years, and thank you for everything you taught us and the life experience you shared with us.

Rest in peace dear friend.

Team of LGBT Forum Progress.

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Nongovernmental organization LGBT Forum Progress received a request for legal aid and protection by its member of many years, regarding the case which lasted between September 2017 and January 2018. According to the young man, in the mentioned period he has faced continuous illegal imprisonment, sexual abuse, starvation and everyday death threats and abuse.

According to the young man, the case begins in September 2017, when the first contact happened with certain E.G. from Kosovo, via the social network „Facebook“. After the initial, pleasant communication, the young man agrees to have a date with E.G. in Podgorica. After they got acquainted and spent some time together, E.G. proposed to the young man to go to a field trip to Pec/Peja, Kosovo, in order to spend some more time together, and to get to know each other even better. After they took the trip, the situation took an almost unbelievable turn.

Namely, according to the young man, on the very road to Pec/Peja, E.G. physically assaulted him, forcing him to ingest pills of unknown content and origin. The young man lost his consciousness shortly after, and woke up the next day in an apartment in Pec/Peja, unknown to him. In this period, the perpetrator E.G. reveals+ed to him that the young man is in his imprisonment, and that he will have to do whatever is asked of him, under death threats. The young man was then transported to Djakovica/Gjakova, to a rented apartment, in which he was imprisoned and was forced to remain within the period of almost five months. During this period, E.G. regularly visited his victim, while physically and sexually abusing him, inflicting injuries with a knife in the chest and stomach area, all while starving him and denying his freedom of movement. According to the young man, E.G. also owned a gun, with which he threatened him, and he has also threatened him that he will drown him in a nearby river. The young man, aware of the severity of the situation, as well as the severity and the potential realization of the threats was forced to oblige, due to the fear of losing his own life.

In January 2018, as stated by the young man, according to the report made by the neighbors of the rented apartment, the Kosovo police force broke into the apartment and takes the young man to the police station in order to take a written report on the whole situation. However, the situation takes another, unbelievable twist, due to the fact that, as stated by the young man, once the police officers were in the process of taking the statement, when they realized that he was a member of the LGBTI community, they also have physically assaulted him. Four police officers inflicted physical trauma to the young man, while laughing, and have declined to register the report and consider the case itself. They have beaten the young mane by using open and closed (clenched) fists, and he received blows in the area of the head, abdomen and chest area.

After he left the police station, the young man used the opportunity to flee, and to return to Montenegro, where he asked the help of the nongovernmental organization LGBT Forum Progress. Legal and psycho-social aid were provided immediately and quality-based and thorough communication was established with the Montenegrin Police Directorate, through the contact police officer for the communication with the LGBTIQ community.

The President of LGBT Forum Progress, Bojana Jokic, stated: ”As one of the most severe and most demanding cases ever dealt by LGBT Forum Progress, the case has several elements and parts. The first, most obvious one, is the case of several combined criminal deeds, applicable both in Montenegro and Kosovo, which represent a serious breach of numerous internationally recognized documents such as the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the Convention on the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is an unbelievable fact that today, in the 21st century, we are facing obvious and serious examples of slavery. The second, equally important aspect of the case is an enormous problem of institutional homophobia, which is given on an example of the Kosovo police officers, which refused to protect the young man, and have additionally degraded him, and physically abused him due to his ethnic background and the fact that he is a member of the LGBTIQ community”.

LGBT Forum Progress is satisfied with the communication established with the Montenegrin Police directorate, which shared with us the fact that the case is being taken seriously, and that the communication with the Interpol has already been established, as well as they are working towards the resolution of the case and capturing of the perpetrator. LGBT Forum Progress will continue providing legal and psycho-social support to the young man, and will timely notify the Montenegrin public on the results of the police actions in this case.

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(Crnogorski) Publikacija “Nasilje nad LGBTIQ osobama i rodno zasnovano nasilje u Crnoj Gori – primjeri iz prakse”

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