22 Dec 14
Montenegro Police Probe Gay Rights HQ Attack
The stoning of the headquarters of LGBT Forum Progres in Podgorica was the 25th attack on the rights organisation’s activists and property in the past year, its leader said.
Stevan Milivojevic, the head of LGBT Forum Progess, said on Monday that the organisation’s office was attacked despite the fact that police officers were supposed to be protecting it.
The building in the capital Podgorica was attacked overnight between Saturday and Sunday but no one was injured. Surveillance cameras captured two hooded men throwing stones at the office windows.
Milivojevic said that despite having been assigned special police protection, the organisation’s property and activists had been attacked on 25 occasions in the past year, but the perpetrators have not been prosecuted.
“If the previous 24 attacks on us were fully investigated and the Montenegrin authorities done more to find and punish the perpetrators, this latest attack would never have happenrd,” Milivojevic told BIRN.
The Montenegrin Ministry for Human and Minority Rights on Sunday urged the police to do more to stop attacks on the LGBT community.
The ministry has strongly condemned the attack on LGBT Forum Progress and called on people to “peacefully respect diversity”.
The government in Podgorica has taken a forward position on gay rights, in spite of the fact that the issue is controversial and unpopular in what remains a conservative and patriarchal society.
Some surveys suggest that about 70 per cent of Montenegrins still consider homosexuality an illness. Around 80 per cent believe that gay people should keep their sexuality private.
The latest EU progress report on Montenegro said that although the authorities took further steps to strengthen the protection of the rights of LGBT people, hostility against them remains widespread in society.
Attacks on LGBT people continued and criminal convictions for these assaults remain few, the report said.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)