Montenegro
Head of state
Filip Vujanović
Head of government
Milo Djukanović (replaced Igor Luksić in December)

Verdicts in war crimes cases were inconsistent with international law. Independent journalists continued to face intimidation and attacks.

Background

Demonstrations against the government’s economic and social policies continued throughout the year.

Negotiations on Montenegro’s accession to the EU began in June, focusing on the rule of law, including combatting organized crime and high-level corruption.

After October elections, the longstanding ruling Democratic Party of Socialists was only able to form a coalition government with ethnic minority party support. Former President Milo Djukanović became Prime Minister for the sixth time.

Top of page

Crimes under international law

Prosecution of crimes under international law continued. In some cases proceedings were not fully in line with international standards, and verdicts were inconsistent with international law.

  • In January, following a retrial, four former members of the Yugoslav People’s Army were convicted and each sentenced to up to four years’ imprisonment for war crimes against Croatian prisoners of war and civilians at Morinj camp. The sentences were less than the statutory minimum. Appeals were allowed in July.
  • In April, the prosecution appeal against the acquittal in 2011 of army reservists and police officials charged with inhuman treatment of Bosniaks in Bukovica in 1992 was dismissed. The court found that at the time of the offence, the defendants’ actions “did not constitute a criminal act in the eyes of the law”, although inhuman treatment was defined as a crime against humanity in the 2003 Criminal Code which ought, under established principles of international law, to have been applied retroactively.
  • The retrial of four members of the Yugoslav Army (which succeeded the Yugoslav People’s Army) indicted for the murder of six Kosovo Albanians in Kaludjeruski Laz in 1999 started in September.
  • In November, nine former police officials were again acquitted of war crimes in a retrial for the enforced disappearance of more than 79 Bosnian refugees in May 1992, on the basis that although they had unlawfully detained the Bosniaks, the defendants were not parties to the international armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Top of page

Freedom of expression

Prime Minister Igor Luksić publicly criticized NGOs and media opposed to the government. Independent journalists also faced intimidation and threats from private actors.

  • In March, Olivera Lakić – a journalist for the independent newspaper Vijesti – was hospitalized after being beaten outside her home. Her reporting on alleged industrial fraud had resulted in the opening of criminal investigations.
  • In April, the Supreme State Prosecutor replied to a 2010 request by the NGO Human Rights Action, for information on investigations into 12 unresolved human rights violations, including the murders of journalists and other politically motivated killings. The partial information supplied revealed little progress in investigations.
Top of page

Discrimination

Discrimination against LGBTI people continued.

  • In September three men, including an actor and the director of a video against homophobia, were violently attacked by members of a Podgorica football supporters’ organization. Despite requests for police protection, actor Todor Vujosević was attacked again in October.
Top of page

Refugees and migrants

Around 3,200 Kosovo Roma and Ashkali refugees remained in Montenegro. In July, 800 of them were made homeless after a fire at the Konik collective centre, where they had lived since 1999. The refugees protested when they were provided with tents; in November they were inadequately housed in metal containers. Long-term plans for permanent housing to replace the collective centre were delayed.

Montenegro remained a transit route for irregular migrants: of 1,531 new asylum applicants, one was granted asylum and one other subsidiary protection.

Top of page

Jump to a Country Report

Africa

The deepening crisis in Mali in 2012 reflected many of the region’s deep-rooted problems. Across Africa, people’s l ...

Americas

The widespread human rights violations of the past, and the failure to hold those responsible to account, have cast a ...

Asia Pacific

In countries across Asia-Pacific, the simple act of publicly expressing one’s opinion – whether on the street ...

Europe and Central Asia

A rare example of the democratic transition of power for the former Soviet Union took place in the par ...

Middle East and North Africa

The popular uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010 continued ...

Amnesty International on social networks

Country Visits

No information on visits available