NGO LGBT Forum Progres, in cooperation with its partners NGO LGBTIQ Social Center and NGO Hiperion, presented the “Dika” award for 2016, on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day. As a reminder, “Dika” was established in May of this year, as a social recognition for contribution to the visibility of LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro.
This year, “Dika” award was given to:
1. Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro, in the category “Acknowledgement for the institution/organization/collective”,
2. Danilo Marunovic, film director, in the category “Acknowledgement for an individual”, and
3. Zdravko Cimbaljevic, LGBTIQ activist, in the category of “Special Acknowledgement”.
In the category “Acknowledgment for the institution/organization/collective”, five organizations/institutions were nominated – the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Human Rights Action – HRA, Queer Montenegro, the Office of the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, and Civic Alliance.
Based on the majority of nominations, as well as on the great support that Ministry gave to the LGBTIQ community in Montenegro, it was decided that “Dika” award for 2016 will go to this Institution. On behalf of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, the award was received by Mrs. Blanka Radosevic Marovic, the Director of the Directorate for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms.
In the category “Acknowledgement for an individual” the nomenees were: film director Danilo Marunovic, LGBTIQ activist Zdravko Cimbaljevic, Minister Mehmed Zenk,a and Svetlana Jovanovic, a mother of an LGBTIQ person.
The nominations in this category were numerous, and most of them were given to film director Danilo Marunovic, whose work was recognized as very important in the field of promotion of human rights and equality of LGBTIQ persons, and therefore the “Dika” award was given to him. His unselfish contribution is reflected in several achievements that have LGBTIQ themes, or in some way depict the reality and problems of LGBTIQ people in Montenegro.
The winner in the category of “Special Acknowledgement” was selected by the votes of the decision-making bodies in the organizations that established the “Dika” award, and this recognition was unanimously given to Zdravko Cimbaljevic, as he was the first publicly gay man in Montenegro, and a sort of a founder of the LGBTIQ movement in our country. Zdravko is recognized throughout the world as an outstanding human rights and equality defender of LGBTIQ people, who continues his work despite all the obstacles, and is actively providing support to the Montenegrin LGBTIQ community from Canada.
Although the receiving ceremony of the award “Dika” was initially announced for June 28th, due to small number of nominations, it was postponed for the end of the year. Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations LGBT Forum Progres, LGBTIQ Social Center and Hiperion actively collected nominations for the prize, and, in the end, they collected a total of 135. Nominations that were received for organisations that established the “Dika” award and for their active members did not come into consideration.
“I would like to use this opportunity and, on behalf of all three organisations, thank everyone who sent their nominations and everyone who patiently waited for the final results. We are very proud of both the number of nominations and of all the winners. Considering that this was the first year of the award, we did not know what the public reaction would be. We are happy that all those who contributed throughout their work towards the visibility of LGBTIQ people have been acknowledged, and we congratulate them once again.. We hope that there will be more nominations next year, that there will be more people who promote equality and acceptance of LGBTIQ people through their work, and that “Dika” will become recognized as a valuable prize.” said John Barac, Executive Director of LGBT Forum Progres.