For the third time this year, police in the city of Nikšić, Montenegro, has banned a pride march.
The Pride was banned quoting security threats. The Orthodox Church mobilised against the Pride, while nationalists and football hooligans had threatened to disturb the march.
Earlier Pride marches in the capital city, Podgorica, and Budva, were well-protected by the police.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “It is completely unacceptable that the police, for the third time already, bans Nikšić pride. Montenegrin authorities have demonstrated their capacity to protect Pride marches, and are perfectly capable of doing the same in Nikšić.”
“Montenegrin institutions are simply not doing their job. This is a lost opportunity to send a strong positive message about Montenegrin leaders’ commitment to fundamental rights.”
Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, continued: “From all accession countries, Montenegro has developed the most extensive body of law and policy, aiming to protect LGBTI people from violence and discrimination.”
“However, these words are worthless, if in practice police is either incapable or unwilling to protect LGBTI people´s right to freedom of assembly. This should play a large role in the accession negotiations, and I hope the Commission will take this up in its upcoming accession report.”
The European Commission will present its accession report mid-October.