Montenegro: Extremes are preparing to radicalize the situation in Cetinje

Montenegrin Interior Minister Sergej Sekulovic told reporters on Wednesday “he can not guarantee absolute security in Cetinje for either journalists or citizens, but that he will do his best to ensure that everything passes peacefully on September 5.” He added that the Interior Ministry has information that there are extremists from both sides who are planning radicalization in Cetinje.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure security, but in the absolute sense, we can not guarantee 100%,” Sekulović said.

Asked if the enthronement of the Metropolitan of Montenegro and Litoral, Joanikije, in Cetinje, could be stopped, he said everyone has their own powers.

“Our personal conviction is irrelevant, it is an obligation to guarantee freedom of religion,” Sekulov said.

Sekulovic announced that the rally was reported for September 3rd, and not for September 5th, but he expected that, if a spontaneous rally were to be held, it would pass peacefully. He added that security assessments are done hour by hour. In general, as he pointed out, the security assessment is not favorable.

“The question is whether it is so unfavorable to stop or we will do something else, to allow citizens to exercise their constitutional right,” the minister said. He added that the police will do their best to ensure that citizens express their conviction and that the media and all other actors in the socio-political scene can make it easier or harder.

“Montenegro was created in Cetinje, we must not allow this current Montenegro to die in Cetinje. “We must learn to live with our differences and open a democratic debate,” Sekulov said.

He noted that the ban could be a short-term solution, but it is a stifling of freedoms.

“Through operational work, we learned that there are extremes on both sides and that they are planning to radicalize the situation,” Sekulović noted.

The director of the Police Administration, Zoran Brđanin, said the music rallies were announced on September 3rd and 4th, organized by the Montenegrin Orthodox Church.

He added that no rally was reported for the 5th day, but that he expects that if people “spontaneously gather” that day to “defend the greatest values”, then he expects them to be calm. Brđanin said that no one reported the rally in Cetinje held on August 22 and that the police had the opportunity to issue an order to stop the rally, but that they were thinking about the consequences.

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