Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) conducted the survey, during the period starting from October 11 until October 13, among students on war crimes in Montenegro. The questionnaire was conducted for students at the first year on the Faculty of Law of the University of Montenegro, the Faculty of Sciences of Law of the University Mediteran, and students of the second year of UDG Faculty of Law (first year students had changed lectures thus, they were not able to provide their opinions). The questionnaire was delivered to 120 students, at each of the above mentioned faculties, with balanced gender.
Students provided 116 answers on question: “Have you ever heard that any war crime had ever been committed at the territory of Montenegro?”, out of which 63 were positive and 53 were negative.
On question: “Do you know if any war crime, committed at the territory of Montenegro, has been processed before International criminal court for former Yugoslavia in Hague?”, students gave 117 answers, out of which 36 were positive and even 71 negative.
The question saying: “Do you know if any war crime has been processed before the national courts?”, answered 116 students, out of which 91 did not know whether any war crime has been processed before national courts in Montenegro, while 25 of them gave positive answer.
Students gave 90 negative answers on question: “Have you ever been introduced with committed war crimes in Montenegro during your education?”, questioned while 19 of them answered positively.
According to these answers, we conclude that our school system inadequately treats the new history of Montenegro and efforts that have been made of hiding the war past of Montenegro in wars during ‘90s, have got results. Students who were born at the time of war crimes, unfortunately, know nothing about them.
Data show that Montenegro has not started serious and responsible facing with the past yet, which would be aimed at researching and resolving of all war crimes. Such process has to be comprehensive and should include all segments of the society, institutions and individuals. Its basic aim should be eliminating all scars from Montenegrin people and the very Montenegro, and taking before justice all responsible persons. Besides that aim, it is important to establish new system of values, to eliminate prejudices that were consciously developed, and define the truth, to write and speak about it. Regarding this all, youth should have the key role. They should do everything for bringing these acts into processing, for punishing responsible individuals, and establishing guarantees that similar acts will never happen again. Nowadays Montenegro, has to do all in that aim, and has to send clear message that crimes should not be forgiven, and the message has to be additionally strengthen if crimes have been committed in the name of the country and in the name of its people.
Therefore, Montenegro is obliged to introduce young generations with war crimes that had been committed during ‘90s, after which the country is responsible for violation of human rights of civilians and war prisoners. If the truth on these acts intends to be hidden, then, we should be seriously concerned it will happen again.
YIHR invites Ministry of education and science, Universities in Montenegro, deans of Faculties of Law to create and introduce in educational programs activities that should contribute introduction of youth with war crimes committed in Montenegro, and introduction on work of International criminal court for war crimes for former Yugoslavia. Montenegrin Prosecution Office and judiciary should strengthen transparency of its work in processing war crimes, which would firstly be achieved through processing of crimes and through reviewing command responsibility.