Notes on the Human Rights Situation in Montengro


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Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 11:24:57 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Notes on the Human Rights Situation in Montengro

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: International Helsinki Federation <office@ihf-hr.org>

Notes on the Human Rights Situation in Montengro


Notes on the Human Rights Situation in Montenegro

Vienna and Budva, 7 July 1999.  The International Helsinki Federation
for Human Rights (IHF) and the Helsinki Committees in Kosovo,
Montenegro and Serbia wish to call attention to policies of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that continue to infringe upon the
rights of citizens and other residents of Montenegro.

According to the Montenegrin Helsinki Committee for Human Rights,
there are charges before military courts against 14,000 Montenegrin
citizens based on their refusal to participate in the war in Kosovo,
and the figure may be as high as 16,000. "Citizens have a right to
refuse to participate in military activities and an obligation to
refuse illegal ones.  If these people had followed orders they would
very likely have been forced to commit war crimes and crimes against
humanity in Kosovo," according to Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director of
the Helsinki Federation.

Many of those selected for mobilization had manifested their
opposition to the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, constituting a major
violation of the freedom of opinion and conscience. Many journalists
have been thus targeted, including Miograg Perovic, founder of the
weekly Monitor and Nebosja Redzic, the editor in chief of Radio Free
Montenegro. Yugoslav Army (JA) forces regularly intimidate Montenegrin
citizens, especially in northern part of the country. The military
forces in Montenegro function in effect as a "federal police force."

According to Slobodan Franovic, Chairman of the Montenegrin Helsinki
Committee, their role is "to prevent the freedom of movement to and
within Montenegro." Despite these pressures, "More and more
Montenegrin citizens are committed to preserving Montenegro as a
multi-ethnic, multi-confessional and multicultural community," Mr.
Franovic said.
 
For more information:
Aaron Rhodes, International Helsinki Federation for Human
Rights, +43-1-402 73 87, 408 88 22; mob. +43-676-339-0506
Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia,
+43-1-402 73 87, 408 88 22
Slobodan Franovic, Montenegrin Helsinki Committee, +381-86-53 191

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