Montenegro’s Gay Community Stays Hidden to Survive
The invisibility of homosexuals and lesbians in public and social spheres is further slowing efforts to overcome homophobia in this conservative society.
Mirko and Nenad would like to forget the night when the Podgorica police caught them being intimate in a park and decided to teach them a lesson by beating them up and leaving them in the dark with no clothes. Naked, they returned home discretely and tried to conceal all traces of this ‘disgrace.’
“These guys felt there was no climate of tolerance in Montenegro, so any attempt to process this case would do them more harm than good,” remarks Aleksandar Sasa-Zekovic, a human rights researcher and a member of the Council for Civil Control of Police.
One of the few people who knew about this case, Zekovic received confirmation of the men’s story from police sources. “I had everything I needed to take this case to court except what mattered most, the consent of one of the victims,” he adds. Four years on, none of the police officers involved have been held accountable and the public never found out what happened to the two men, whose real names have had to be concealed.