Police assist in dismantling protesters’ camp in St Peter of Cetinje Bvld in Podgorica, six police officers injured

    Podgorica, Montenegro (17 October 2015) – Montenegro’s police assisted early this morning the Podgorica municipal police in enforcing the decision on dismantling the camp set up by the protesters in front of the Parliament building and normalising traffic in the St Peter of Cetinje Boulevard in Podgorica.

    The municipal police filed a request to the Security Center Podgorica seeking support and assistance in removing the stage, tents and other facilities in a part of the St Peter of Cetinje Blvd. The protesters’ camp had been set up there contrary to the decision made by the local authorities and it was supposed to be removed in order to normalise traffic in that part of the boulevard.

    The municipal police have already tried to remove the camp, but they were prevented from doing that by the organisers and participants of the public gathering. The Police Authority was legally obliged to act according to the law. Therefore, the police officers blocked a part of the St Peter of Cetinje Boulevard early this morning at 6 am in order to enable the municipal policy to remove the illegally set up facilities.

    Head of the police in charge of supervising public gatherings warned the citizens attending the protest through the megaphone to stay away from the venue marked for providing assistance to the municipal police, but the citizens disobeyed all the warnings, which had been repeated several times.

    At a moment, MP Milan Knežević physically attacked a police officer. Nikola Bajčetić, councillor in Podgorica’s local parliament, broke through the police cordon with a Renault Megan vehicle (licence plates PG FC 862), jeopardising lives of the protesters and putting police officers in danger.

    Following the event, the protesters were informed that peace and order had been violated, and Milutin Đukanović, chief manager of the public gathering, was urged to invite protesters to leave the place peacefully and let the police act upon the request submitted by the local authority. The police also stated that the public gathering was interrupted due to peace and order violation and the protesters’ intention to physically assault police officers and prevent them from doing their job.

    Given that the manager of the public gathering and other protesters disobeyed warnings and orders issued by the authorities, as well as their passive and active resistance, the police detained 11 persons: MP Slaven Radunović, MP Vladislav Bojović, Councillor in Podgorica’s local parliament Nikola Bajčetić, Councillor in the city municipal parliament of Golubovci Dragutin Klikovac, as well as Dražen Živković, Gojko Raičević, Filip Radunović, Dušan Knežević, Vladimir Eraković, Drago Goranović and Veselin Savić.

    While arresting them, the police were using physical force and tear gas to overcome their active resistance and prevent police officers from being attacked. Six police officers suffered minor injuries in this incident.

    Afterwards, at 9pm, the municipal police started the procedure of dismantling the camp, thus creating conditions for normalising traffic in this area.

    The police acted according to the law when assisting the municipal police in enforcing their decisions. The use of police force was caused by unlawful behaviour of the protesters in front of the parliament building in Podgorica.

    Pursuant to the law, the police electronically recorded the action of providing assistance to the municipal policy in enforcing the law.

    THE POLICY AUTHORITY OF MONTENEGRO

    Source: Government of Montenegro