Homophobic attack in the Center of Podgorica
PRESS RELEASE – Podgorica, 10 April 2015
Today, 10 April 2015, in the early morning hours at 01.30 a.m., in the center of Podgorica at the bar „Good Fellas“, Stevan Milivojevic was attacked, the executive director of LGBT Forum Progress and a member of the Government Council for protection from discrimination.
Milivojevic was in a company of A.M., a student from Podgorica, and German MEP, Terry Reintke, who is a member of the delegation of the Parliamentary Committee of the European Union and Montenegro for stabilization and association, who is on official visit to Montenegro.
After a late dinner, which happened after a night out, they were maltreated by a group of young men who had utterly inappropriate and primitive behavior that caused fear and embarrassment of all present. Young men behaved insolently and offensively towards Milivojevic and his friends for 10 minutes, with primitive and improper gestures – they were touching their genitals, simulating masturbation, lolling out tongues and disturbing them.
Inside the bar, one of the young man who was wearing a shirt with the inscription „Donetsk Republic“ in the direction of Milivojevic and his friends chanted „Russia“. As Milivojevic was sitting at a table next to window, from the outside they were sticking the glass with napkins smeared in ketchup, laughing, slamming into the glass and asking Milivojevicto leave the premises so they could show him.
All the time they called Milivojevic „Faggot“ and they were telling him „We are waiting for you“, „Get out“ and they were calling him for a physical confrontation.
European MP made a few camera shots of the attackers during their primitive lolling out at the window.
One of the young men entered the bar and asked everyone at the table why they had photographed them. Milivojevic asked him to move away from their table and the employees to escort the young man because he maltreated them. When they realized that young men was not giving up, they contacted the police. Four police officers came very fast, within five minutes, but the young men left in the direction of a nearby park.
The case was reported and criminal offences, such as violation of equality and threats to security in which sexual orientation was recognized as an aggravating circumstance, were pointed out and suggested by LGBT Forum Progress. The owner of the bar was very polite and fair, he apologized for the inconvenience and expressed readiness to cooperate with the judicial authorities regarding the availability of video surveillance.
Everyday life and freedom of movement of LGBT people is seriously threatened. These eventlimits the quality of life of LGBT people. They are forced to lead an extremely restrictive social life because provocation, attacks and hate speech may happen at every step. This not only creates fear and discomfort to threatened one, but also to those who accompany them.
Statement of Terry Reintke regarding the incident:
After a very successful stay of EP delegation in Montenegro, I was spending my free time with friends in Podgorica.
We went out for a late dinner and suddenly, we were verbally attacked and threatened by a group of young men with a very clear homophobic background, given that I was in a company of Stevan Milivojevic, from LGBT Forum Progress.
This form of expression of homophobic behavior should be sanctioned and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Police responded very quickly and appropriately, which is as an indicator of progress in this field.
But it is also necessary that the prosecution reacts efficiently, sets an example and sends a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and ignored.
I will follow the further development of events and actions taken by the prosecution which I hope will be the professional way to deal with this case.