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Collective vacation – info

Dear all,
we would like to inform you that the main office of LGBT Forum Progress will be closed between 28/12/2016 and 08/01/2017, due to the collective vacation. In case of need, you can contact us on Facebook, or via email: info@lgbtprogres.me.
See you in 2017. Management of LGBT Forum Progress.

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Podgorica, 30/11/2016

NGO Human Rights Action has, on the behalf of NGO LGBT Forum Progress and NGO Hiperion, filed a constitutional complaint against the verdict of the Supreme court from September of 2016, which confirmed the decision of the Police directorate and the Ministry of Interior to issue the temporary ban of the Academic Pride Walk in Niksic, in September of 2015.

Constitutional complaint states that the Supreme court has violated the right to freedom of assembly and protection against discrimination (in other words, equality before the law) to the members of NGOs LGBT Forum Progress and Hiperion; which is in direct violation of the Constitution of Montenegro, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights.

LGBT Forum Progress and Hiperion have, as the organisations that work on protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms of LGBTIQ person, filed in July of 2015 a request to the Police for a peaceful gathering, called “Academic Pride Walk”, to be held on September 18 2015. Acting upon the request, head of local Police unit in Niksic issued a temporary ban on the Walk, due to the estimate that it poses a great security risk. This ban was supported by the Ministry of Interior. Later on, the Administrative court has rejected the complaint of the organisers, and the Supreme court has endorsed the ruling of the Administrative court. To this day, the Walk has not been held, even though the organisers have stated the readiness to find common grounds with the Police on the date, time, and the location of the peaceful gathering.

In the documents banning the Walk, issued by the Police directorate and the Ministry of Interior, which have been accepted by the courts, no plausible reasons were given as to why this gathering would pose a high security risk. Furthermore, no mention was made in the rulings as to why the Police failed to respond to such “high risk”, when it clearly managed to do so during the first two Prides in 2013 – one in Budva and one in Podgorica.

Police directorate banned the Academic Pride Walk, but allowed the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to have a gathering, despite having their members issue threats to members of LGBT Forum Progress and Hiperion. Not only was this a clear discrimination against the organisers, but also a major concern, since the Police did not file a single criminal report following the threats, but instead decided to ban the peaceful gathering of the two organisations mentioned.

We expect for the Constitutional court to apply the standards of practice of the European court for Human Rights, to which the Human Rights Action, LGBT Forum Progress and Hiperion hopelessly pointed out to the Ministry of Interior and the courts. We also expect that, by accepting this complaint, the court will show that Montenegro is bound to grant the right to peaceful gathering even to those people with whose views and ideas the majority of population disagrees, and especially the groups of bullies.

Tea Gorjanc-Prelevic, Executive director, NGO Human Rights Action

Bojana Jokic, President of the Managing Board, NGO LGBT Forum Progress

Ksenija Rakocevic, President of the Managing Board, NGO Hiperion


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Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro and NGO LGBT Forum Progress reached an agreement on joint activities

Podgorica, 28/11/2016

On November 28 2016, President of the Managing Board of NGO LGBT Forum Progress held a meeting with the management of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro (SPUCG), led by the President of this body, Ms. Sara Arianna Serhatlic. Present at the meeting was also Mr. Marko Popovic, representative of students at the Faculty of Philosophy, against whom a complaint was filed for hate speech directed towards the LGBT community, during mid-2015.

Representatives of LGBT Forum Progress and SPUCG had a chance to talk about the deeply rooted homo/bi/transphobia in the Montenegrin education system and the consequences of hate speech, that can never come from someone who is a student representative. It was also emphasised that many LGBTIQ persons are enrolled at Montenegrin faculties, and that they need to be ensured and granted their safety, life without fear, and encouragement to reach their full potential.

Security, as a primary component, life without discrimination, penalty for crimes, and hate speech need to be recognised and enforced, in order to make sure that the University of Montenegro, as the largest Montenegrin academic institution, is truly a place that is safe for the life, work, and activities of all students, regardless of their differences, identities, and personal characteristics.


President of the Student Parliament, Ms. Sara Arianna Serhatlic said that SPUCG bears a special respect for protection of human rights of all students that she represents. She also fully supported the organisation of the first antidiscrimination panel discussions, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niksic, to be organised by the Student Council of the Faculty of Philosophy and LGBT Forum Progress; which will be followed by a plan of activities directed towards antidiscrimination (panels, debates, and other public events) at the University of Montenegro. Start of these activities is planned for the second semester of the current academic year.

President of the Managing Board of LGBT Forum Progress, Ms. Bojana Jokic, commended the initiative of SPUCG, and declared readiness to withdraw the complaint made against Mr. Popovic, for the sake of long-term results which can be achieved by the planned activities, adding to the quality of life of LGBTIQ persons, reduction of hate crimes and hate speech, as well as reduction of the discrimination against the LGBTIQ community. By doing this, she stated, we are not just addressing the current problem, but also acting pre-emptively on all the future problems that may come before the LGBTIQ community, during their time as students. “We have to be aware”, Jokic said “that by tolerating discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes on any ground, we are enabling for homo/bi/transphobia to further develops and spreads. By doing so, we are teaching our future professors, ministers and leaders of our country the backward, fascist values, that do not belong at the largest Montenegrin educational institution”.

Montenegrin public will be timely informed about all the joint activities of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro and LGBT Forum Progress.

Sara Arianna Serhatlic, President of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro

Bojana Jokic, President of the Managing Board, LGBT Forum Progress

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