PRESS RELEASE – Civil proceeding for Protection from Discrimination

We want to inform the public that on 20th March, 2014 at noon in the Basic Court in Podgorica, a major hearing was held on the complaint of Miroslava – Mima Ivanovic, from the Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro (AYDM), against the Montenegrian Parliament.

We recall that Miroslava Mima Ivanovic, on the second of December, 2013 filed a complaint for protection from discrimination due to the inaccessibility of the building of the Parliament of Montenegro, through its attorney lawyer Tijana Zivkovic, involved in the project: “Free legal aid to marginalized groups” which CEMI conducted with the support of the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

Because of the four cases of discrimination, which Ivanovic suffered during the period from September to December 2013, on the basis of the Anti-Discrimination Act and the prohibition of discrimination against persons with disabilities, the lawsuit seeks to define discrimination, to take all necessary steps to ensure that the same does not to repeat and non-pecuniary damages. Alleged discrimination under the provisions of this law shall be considered severe form of discrimination, as has been repeatedly done by the same person – repeated discrimination.

At today’s hearing, Miroslava-Mima Ivanovic is heard as a plaintiff, as well as Aleksandar Damjanovic, member of the Parliament of Montenegro, as a witness, whose hearing has accepted by Judge Danilo Jegdić, at the suggestion of plaintiff.

Another witness, Šućko Bakovic – Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms, which has been proposed by the plaintiff did not appear at the hearing. Mr. Bakovic in his written briefs submitted to the Court explained his inability to testify because of his obligations(formerly agreed)

In addition to hearing the plaintiff and witnesses Damjanovic, and written evidences were performed, and then the respondent suggested that the “active” action that is undertaken in order to comply with legal obligations, the court dismiss the complaint as unfounded.

Attorney Tijana Zivkovic, immediately after filing a lawsuit, informed the Ombudsman, whose representative Dina Knezevic mail contacted the plaintiff, informing her that they are interested in intervening in the dispute . Ms. Knezevic as the public attended the preliminary hearing held on 17th February 2014. plaintiff stated that the decision of whether the institution of the Ombudsman to intervene in the dispute will be duly notified . However, none of this decision , or the inability of the Ombudsman to give evidence of plaintiff nor AYDM were not informed . This is concrete evidence of the non-functioning of independent institutions for basic human rights and freedoms , as well as the unwillingness and irresponsibility that in this particular case the domestic and international public show independence and commitment of the institution matters within its competence , ie . human rights and freedoms .

Concludin this major hearing, Judge Jegdić said that the verict will be announced on 08 April .

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