Attacks on Kosovo Roma in Montenegro
07 May 2002
Displaced Kosovo Roma accommodated in the Lovanja settlement near the town of Tivat, on the north of the Montenegrin coast of the Adriatic Sea, are often victims of attacks, according to information presented on November 7, 2001, by the Podgorica-based daily newspaper Vijesti. At a meeting with the local mayor on November 6, 2001, a delegation of Roma from the settlement complained of increasing attacks by unknown persons who had disturbed Roma and thrown stones at their houses in the week before the meeting, the daily reported. One member of the delegation, Ms Vezira Bajra, reported that her house had been stoned the night before the meeting, which disturbed her family and particularly her young children. An additional problem for the group in seeking adequate protection from violence is the fact that the Lovanja settlement is in the vicinity of the town of Tivat, while it administratively belongs to the municipality of Kotor, a town located further away. When the Roma sought assistance from the Tivat police, they were reportedly instructed to report the case in Kotor. The Romani delegation also used the opportunity of meeting the mayor to ask again for relocation of the settlement to a more appropriate location, as for more than two years, the approximately twenty families of displaced Kosovo Roma in Lovanja have lived on a local garbage disposal site, in improvised huts without basic infrastructure and without the provision of potable water and electricity. The desperate housing and economic situation of the Lovanja Roma was the subject of an ERRC letter of concern to the Montenegrin Prime Minister Filip Vujanović on January 10, 2002, For the complete text of the letter, please see: ERRC Letter to Montenegrin Prime Minister .