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Old 12-27-2019, 09:32 AM   #1
Carlin15
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Default Montenegro MPs arrested in clash over religious freedom law

According to the latest reports, Montenegro police arrested a number of opposition MPs after they tried to prevent the voting on controversial religious law.

Despite the incident and protests outside, the parliament is expected to adopt the law this evening.


Montenegro MPs arrested in clash over religious freedom law

URL:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50923647

Eighteen MPs were arrested by police as chaos broke out in Montenegro's parliament over a freedom of religion law that has sparked protests across the tiny Balkan republic.

The law, which went through in the early hours of Friday, could enable the state to claim ownership of hundreds of religious buildings.

Pro-Serb opposition MPs had tried to disrupt the vote and some were seen rushing towards the speaker.


Bottles were hurled in the chamber.

There was also one report of a firecracker or tear gas canister being thrown. Police entered the chamber, including some wearing gas masks. In all, 22 people were detained, including 18 MPs from the pro-Serbian opposition Democratic Front (DF).

Fifteen MPs were quickly released but two leaders of the DF, Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, were held on Friday on suspicion of preventing an official from carrying out their duty. Another DF deputy was held for allegedly assaulting an official.

Mr Mandic and Mr Knezevic were already on bail pending an appeal against a five-year jail term for staging an alleged Russian-backed attempted coup in 2016.

The Serbian Orthodox Church, Montenegro's most powerful religious institution, reacted to the law by accusing the government of carrying out a "flagrant attack".

Why is the law controversial?

Although Montenegro split from a union with Serbia after a 2006 referendum, seven out of 10 Montenegrins are still loyal to the Serbian Orthodox Church, according to BBC Balkans correspondent Guy Delauney.

The Church says the government's law seeks to weaken its influence and one bishop warned it could cause "civil war".

Under the law, religious institutions would have to prove they held rights to their property before 1918, when Montenegro lost its independence and joined the country that eventually became Yugoslavia.

Critics see the move as an attempt to steer the republic away from Serbia and push forward the Montenegrin Orthodox church.

The property affected includes dozens of monasteries and a large area of territory, the Church says.

President Milo Djukanovic, who has backed "renewal" of the republic's independent Church, said earlier this year that there was no intention to remove any property from anyone.

"We have said we are ready to die for our church and we are demonstrating that," said one of the two detained opposition leaders, Mr Mandic.

Priests joined protesters on Thursday as they tried to make their way towards parliament in the capital Podgorica, only to find their way blocked by riot police.

The Church said the arrests and "violence" towards citizens demonstrating across the state left Orthodox believers facing "one of the hardest Christmases in Montenegro's modern history". The country has a population of 620,000.

Like Serbia and several other Balkan nations, Montenegro is a candidate to join the EU. Unlike Serbia it has been a member of the Western military alliance Nato since 2017.

Neighbour Kosovo has seen its own turbulence in parliament.

Last year opposition MPs threw tear gas in protest at a border deal with Montenegro, arguing the agreement unfairly ceded territory to Kosovo's neighbour.

Last edited by Carlin15; 12-27-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:45 PM   #2
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Minor clashes being reported in Niksic, Montenegro between police and ethnic Serb demonstrators.

Last edited by Carlin15; 12-27-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:50 AM   #3
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Interesting development.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:12 AM   #4
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Footage from Zeta (Montenegro) - Dec 29, 2019 - Serb protesters attack police:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDulZdDi3xM
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:36 AM   #5
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Montenegrins brutally beat young Serb in Podgorica - Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J0_TXLTerE

Marko Milacic Reveals Identity of Beaten Young Man: High School Graduate still in hospital:
http://engnews24h.com/marko-milacic-...spital-region/

The young man who was brutally beaten on the street in Podgorica last night is Josif Vukicevic, a high school graduate in Danilovgrad. This information was posted on his Facebook profile by Montenegrin leader Marko Milacic. Milacic says the beaten Vukicevic lives under Ostrog and reports that the injured student is still in hospital.

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Old 02-17-2020, 04:48 PM   #6
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In nearby Bosnia Serb Leader Dodik Reiterates Call For Secession

https://www.rferl.org/a/goodbye-bosn.../30440100.html

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Lawmakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Bosnian Serb entity have gathered for an extraordinary session to discuss a response to a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court opposed by the Serbs.

Tensions have flared in the divided Balkan country since the Bosnian Constitutional Court earlier this month rejected a regulation passed in Republika Srpska on farmland that used to belong to the Yugoslav state as unconstitutional.

The law, adopted late last year, declared such land as property of Republika Srpska, but the court ruled that the state of Bosnia was the owner.

Addressing Republika Srpska’s legislature in Banja Luka on February 17, Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia’s multi-ethnic presidency, said: “Goodbye [Bosnia], welcome [Republika Srpska] exit.”

Dodik has repeatedly called for a referendum on the status of the Serb-led entity, saying Bosnian Serbs had a right to decide their own future.

Last week, the United States and the EU office in Sarajevo joined Britain, Germany, France, and Italy in saying that “unilateral withdrawal from institutions, or blockages of decision-making within them, are unacceptable and counter-productive.”

The decisions of the Constitutional Court are “final and binding, and must be implemented,” they said in a joint statement.

Bosnia remains deeply divided along ethnic lines. The country emerged from a 1992-95 war as two autonomous regions -- the Bosniak-Croat Federation and Republika Srpska -- united under a weak central government.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:24 PM   #7
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If I'm being honest I couldn't give a flying fuck about the Serbs. Serves them right as far as I'm concerned.


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Originally Posted by Carlin15 View Post

Last week, the United States and the EU office in Sarajevo joined Britain, Germany, France, and Italy in saying that “unilateral withdrawal from institutions, or blockages of decision-making within them, are unacceptable and counter-productive.”

Having said that I sympathize with them when I read or hear these kinds of statements. Kosovo anyone?

So the Serbs in Bosnia have to live with the Bosnians and Croats but the Albanians in Serbia couldn't live with the Serbs and support the "institutions". Will the Albanians in Macedonia be encouraged to not take unilateral actions?
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:14 AM   #8
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If I'm being honest I couldn't give a flying fuck about the Serbs. Serves them right as far as I'm concerned.......Having said that I sympathize with them when I read or hear these kinds of statements. Kosovo anyone?
I thought the same when I read it. Ultimately, they're all hypocrites. The West arbitrarily imposes its own set of rules when it suits them, whereas the Serbs push for ethnic self-determination outside of Serbia and whinge when others do the same inside of Serbia. Kosovo could have been retained if they were more sensible and consistent, but clearly such concepts are absent from the minds of most politicians in the Balkans.
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