Montenegrin civil activist and opposition parties on Thursday accused the police of breaching their powers during the arrest of an opposition mayor and councillors in the town of Budva.
On Thursday, the Council for Civic Control of the Police, an independent body tasked to oversee police forces, warned that some officers had exceeded their powers.
“Police officers used physical force to exceed their authority during the arrest of the Secretary for Investments of the Municipality of Budva, Mladen Mikijelj. They should have ceased use of physical force and concrete intervention as soon as Mikijelj ceased to resist,” the council said.
On Wednesday, police arrested the mayor of the resort of Budva, Marko Carevic, the chief of the local assembly, Krsto Radovic, and several others, after they refused to hand over power.
Heavily armed police surrounded the municipal building and arrested the town management, using force and tear gas to disperse protesters around the building.
Civil society organizations and opposition parties demanded the resignation of police chief Veselin Veljovic after media published a video of an officer kneeling on Mikijelj’s neck while he was lying on the ground, handcuffed. They also alleged that the police had behaved brutally on the orders of the government in Podgorica.
On Wednesday, the US ambassador, Judy Rising Reineke, called on all parties avoid violence or use of force. British ambassador Alison Kemp said human rights and respect for the law were the basis of democracy. “We cannot apply these rights and laws selectively. I would especially call for refraining from violence and the use of force,” Kemp wrote on Twitter.
The arrests came after weeks of tension in the wealthy tourist hot spot between the local authorities, represented by the main opposition parties at the national level, and the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which has run Montenegro for almost three decades.
The ruling coalition that won the elections in Budva in 2016, led by the opposition Democratic Front and the Democrats, had refused to hand over power after one of its councillors switched sides to support the DPS, which is headed by Montenegro’s veteran leader, Milo Djukanovic. As a result of this move, the opposition-run local government lost the majority in the assembly.
On June 11, the new DPS-led majority dismissed Carevic and Radovic and elected a new mayor and chief of the local assembly.
Carevic accused them of forming a new majority through political corruption, and on June 12, Radovic refused to allow the new management to take power in the town.
Although Montenegro says it upholds human rights and the rule of law, police violence remains a common feature, even it is no longer seen as acceptable.
So far, the European Court for Human Rights has ruled on one police brutality case against Montenegro, while two other cases are pending before the court against Montenegro, both alleging police brutality during 2015 anti-government protests.
Source: Samir Kajošević, balkaninsight.com
June 18, 2020 - After the analysis of 142 samples, Institute for Public Health reported another four COVID-19 cases. New cases are from Budva (1), Berane (1) and Podgorica (2).
“Two cases are contacts of previously known cases while source of infection for the other two cases is still unknown”, Institute said.
There are currently 13 active COVID-19 cases in Montenegro: 7 in Podgorica, 2 in Berane, 2 in Budva, 1 in Rožaje and 1 in Cetinje.
Epidemic research has established that nine 9 out of 13 cases have been imported or directly connected to the importation.
Having regard to the number of contacts of all identified cases, their movement and current status, Institute for Public Health has proposed introduction of specific preventive measures aimed at preventing virus from spreading further, the most important of which is mandatory face coverings in public places. As prescribed earlier:
-legal entities and entrepreneurs dealing with commerce are obliged to make sure every employee is wearing a mask;
– employees of hairdressers’ and cosmetic saloons and users of their services are obliged to wear masks. When an employee is providing shaving service or cosmetic face treatment, an employee is obliged to wear protective mask and a visor;
-owners of betting and gambling places are obliged to make sure users of their services are wearing masks;
– state authorities, regional units and branches of the Ministry of Interior, Real Estate Administration and other state authorities and self-government authorities shall make sure employees and users of services are wearing protective masks;
-cultural institutions must make sure that employees and users of their services are wearing face masks;
-passengers in public transport in intercity and city traffic are obliged to wear masks;
– employees of the public sector are obliged to wear masks during their work;
-driving instructors are obliged to wear masks;
– hospitality workers are obliged to wear masks.
Source: CDM English
June 18, 2020 - The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) has taken the decision that protective masks be mandatory in all public places. The order comes into force today.
"The NKT, bearing in mind the dramatic increase in the number of individuals infected with Covid-19 in several countries in the region, and the number of new infections in Montenegro, took the decision on the wearing of protective masks in all public places," states the Twitter account of the Government of Montenegro.
The Institute of Public Health confirmed yesterday that there are currently seven active cases of coronavirus in Montenegro.
The Director of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro (KCCG), Jevto Eraković, told TVCG this morning that it is certain that all the newly registered cases of coronavirus in Montenegro have been imported. He said that, considering the irresponsible behaviour of citizens, it was to be expected that the virus would reappear in our country.
Eraković said that he expects that the number of new infections will be even higher in the coming days.