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Montenegro 2022

Impunity persisted for crimes under international law, torture and attacks on journalists. Police failed to respond adequately to domestic violence. Verbal abuse and threats against discriminated groups exacerbated ethnic divisions.


Two prime ministers were ousted by no-confidence votes triggering a political crisis. Mass protests were held demanding early parliamentary elections, a functioning Constitutional Court and changes to a law limiting presidential powers.

Right to truth, justice and reparation 

In May, the chief of police apologized to grieving families of 66 Bosniak refugees forcibly disappeared by Montenegrin police in 1992. 

In August, the Special State Prosecutor examined allegations that retired admiral Dragan Samardžić participated in the unlawful shelling of Split in Croatia in November 1991.

Proceedings continued in December against a former Bosnian Serb Army soldier, Slobodan Peković, charged with raping a protected witness and killing two other people in Foča in 1992.

The former president of the Supreme Court and president of the Commercial Court were detained on suspicion of corruption in April and May respectively; the Special State Prosecutor was arrested for abuse of office in December. In October, the European Commission urged Montenegro to implement legislation strengthening judicial independence, integrity, accountability and professionalism.

Torture and other ill-treatment 

In May, the UN Committee against Torture reiterated long-standing concerns about conditions and rights of detainees in police custody and prisons, and the lack of independent investigations of ill-treatment. 

In March, five police officers were charged with torturing a witness, Marko Boljević, in 2020 to extract a statement; a police inspector was similarly charged in June with respect to Marko Boljević and for torturing a suspect, Benjamin Mugoša.

Freedom of expression 

Twenty-five attacks on journalists were reported. In September, the government requested assistance from foreign experts in re-investigating historic cases, including the 2004 murder of Duško Jovanović, editor of Dan newspaper.

In June, the Supreme Court ordered another retrial of investigative journalist Jovo Martinović, after quashing his 2020 conviction for allegedly participating in drug trafficking. 

Violence against women and girls

Two women were killed by their partners or former partners. One had previously been hospitalized and reported her husband’s violence to the police. In May, the UN Committee Against Torture questioned the low level of prosecutions and lenient sentencing in domestic violence cases.

Women active in public life were subjected to misogynistic abuse, including by officials.


LGBTI people’s rights

The government’s failure to harmonize provisions of the 2020 Law on Life Partnership prevented couples married abroad from registering. Perpetrators were charged with attacks on NGO Juventas’ premises. In July, the president of Queer Montenegro received death threats on social media. NGO Spektra drafted a gender recognition law.

Roma and Egyptian people

According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in November, fewer than 500 individuals remained stateless, including Roma and Egyptians displaced from Kosovo, and 250 Roma children born in Montenegro who lacked documentation required to access essential social and economic rights.

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights 

According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, 6,758 refugees and migrants had entered Montenegro by October but only 2% applied for asylum. The UN Committee Against Torture judged that most were denied access to an effective asylum process, highlighting the lack of procedural safeguards, including against refoulement.