Assault on Montenegrin Gay Activists Condemned

Civil society activists and officials have condemned the beating up of three men – two of whom took part in making a video promoting gay rights in Montenegro.Danilo Marunovic, director of the video, Todor Vujosevic, an actor in it, and their friend, Mirko Boskovic, a journalist at Montenegro’s public broadcaster, RTCG, were attacked on the night between Sunday and Monday, allegedly by fans of a sports club.The video was produced in November 2011 as part of a project of two local NGOs, the Centre for Civic Education, CGO, and LGBT Forum Progress.

The video advocated increased tolerance for the LGBT community in Montenegro, showing two men kissing each other while watching a football match. One was Vujosevic.

The three were reportedly attacked by fans of the Podgorica sports club Buducnost in the centre of capital and received minor injuries.

CGO and the LGBT Forum Progress condemned the attack, saying that it was clear that the motive for the act was hatred, and the three men’s only crime was contributing to a culture of tolerance.

LGBT Progress filed a criminal complaint against four unnamed fans for the attack and against one alleged accomplice, whose identity is also known.

Vijesti Television stated that one of its sport journalists, Dijana Drobnjak, was in the company of the attackers. She has been suspended from her duties pending an investigation.

The NGO Human Rights Action said that the fan club, called Varvari, should be banned if it was proven that it contributed to the incident.

Officials also condemned the attack. “We strongly condemn this act of vandalism … and expect the authorities to resolve the case quickly and efficiently and punish the perpetrators in line with the law,” Jovan Kojicic, the government’s chief advisor on human rights and anti-discrimination, said.

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