Homophobic Statements From Minister for Human Rights

Civil Rights Defenders took part in organising the first conference ever focusing on the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered (LGBT) persons in Montenegro October 23-26. The event attracted leading international experts from the region and the rest of the world.

Shortly after the conference the Minister for Human and Minority Rights, Ferhat Dinosha, said in an interview on TV (November 6th) that the existence of homosexuals in Montenegro “is not good news”.

All key human rights NGOs in Montenegro reacted strongly against the statement. But the protests did not result in any apology or change of Dinosha’s statements. Moreover, during a round table on human rights, organised by the European Delegation in Montenegro, minister Dinosha stated that “national and sexual minorities should not be treated equally in affirmation of their rights” and that the comparison between national and sexual minorities is an insult. During the same conference the minister also said that he is “happy” for not being gay himself.

Civil Rights Defenders urges the government of Montenegro to disagree with the statements of minister Dinosha and to actively promote equality of all citizens of Montenegro. As a first step, the Law against discrimination should be adopted. That would guarantee full protection of all minorities and vulnerable groups in line with European standards.
The government has not reacted to any of Minister Dinosha’s statements so far.

The conference council, which consists of an international group of lawyers and academics, sent a protest letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro urging him to make the minister Dinosha retract his statements and appologize to the LGBT population of Montenegro. You can read the letter here: Letter to Government of Montenegro.

Civil Rights Defenders recently received a letter of appreciation from Dr Jovan Kojicic, who was chair of the conference on equality for sexual minorities. The conference was a great success, according to Jovan Kojicic, and it will continue with annual follow-up meetings for at least another 4 years. Read the letter here: Letter from Dr Jovan Kojicic.

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