Communications
report
Feb. 28, 2016

Montenegro communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

2000px-Flag_of_Montenegro.svgThis page summarizes cases raised with Montenegro by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Montenegro.

Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared.

Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available).

Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Montenegro, English).

First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012)

None

Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013)

None

Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014)

None

Fourth Report (March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015)

None

Fifth Report (March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016)

  1. JOL, 02/03/2015. Case no. MNE 1/2015. State reply: 29/04/2015. Alleged fast-tracked reform of the Public Assembly Act adopted by the Parliament, which allegedly excessively and disproportionately limits the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
  2. Joint allegation letter, 10/12/2015. Case no. MNE 2/2015. State reply: 16/01/2016. Alleged situation of intimidation and violence against journalists and media outlets, as well as in the context of protests in the country.

Observations

Responses to communications
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Montenegro for responding to all the communications sent during this reporting period.

Reform of the Public Assembly Act
Amendments were made to the Public Assembly Act through a fast-tracked procedure to address gaps in the law and the Special Rapporteur notes the Government’s reply of 29 April 2015 in response to concerns of provisions that excessively and disproportionately limit the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression (MNE 1/2015). He remains concerned that provisions relating to blanket bans, geographical restrictions, mandatory notifications and authorizations based on the message of assemblies or on traffic flow considerations are intrusive restrictions that exceed the criteria of necessity and proportionality.

The Special Rapporteur takes this opportunity to remind the Government to ensure that any system of prior notification gives effect to the presumption in favour of assemblies, places narrow limits on the discretion of authorities to restrict assemblies, and incorporates a proportionality assessment (A/HRC/31/66, para. 28(a)). Also, he emphasizes that the “time, place and manner” restrictions should never be used to undermine the message or expressive value of an assembly or to dissuade the exercise of the right to freedom of assembly (A/HRC/31/66, para. 34).

Regarding the Joint Allegation Letter sent on 10 December 2015 about the intimidation and violence of journalists and media outlets, including at protests, as well as measures of arrest and prosecution (MNE 2/2015). The Special Rapporteur notes the reply of the Government of 16 January 2016. However, he remains concerned about the details of the individual cases outlined that were not directly addressed in the State’s reply and would appreciate additional information in this regard. He takes this opportunity to remind the Government of Montenegro to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression and opinion.

He reaffirms that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are necessary elements for the possible emergence and sustainability of effective democratic systems. In this regard, States should therefore make every effort to facilitate those rights. Moreover, he stresses that it is the obligation of States to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline (A/HRC/RES/24/5, operational para. 2).

For the full reports, containing communications, replies and observations for all countries, see the following links:

Report A/HRC/20/27/Add.3: May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012

Report A/HRC/23/39/Add.2: March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013

Report A/HRC/26/29/Add.1: March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014

Report A/HRC/29/25/Add.3: March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015

Report A/HRC/32/36/Add.3: March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016

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