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Montenegrin LGBT activist verbally abused in hometown

Director of Montenegro’s LGBT rights group verbally abused while filming TV interview
Zdravko Cimbaljevic filming in his home town of Niksic, Montenegro

When the first openly gay man in Montenegro returned to his hometown for a TV interview he was met by a chorus of verbal abuse.

Zdravko Cimbaljevic was back in Niksic after a year and a half to be interviewed by a Serbian TV channel.

Despite being surrounded by plain clothes police officers, several dozen people shouted profanities and derogatory comments to Cimbaljevic, who is the director of LGBT Forum Progress, a gay rights group in Montenegro.

In a sign of how bad life is for gay people in Montenegro, LGBT Forum Progress released a statement that said they consider ‘the fact that no one was physically violent very positive’. 

The statement added ‘it gives the hope that the conditions will be gradually improve so that Niksic will join the cities in which it is possible to live freely regardless of one's sexual orientation or gender identity.’

LGBT Forum Progress also praised two older citizens who approached Cimbaljevic and shook hands with him ‘risking their own security by doing so’ and the police for protecting Cimbaljevic and the TV crew with professionalism.

In June a rainbow flag placed outside a Montenegro human rights organisation by LGBT Forum Progress was set on fire.

In April this year, Montenegro was one of four EU-hopeful countries that were told by the European Parliament that they needed improve their LGBT rights record if they wanted the chance of joining the union.

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The statement added it gives the hope that the conditions will be gradually improve so that Niksic will join the cities in which it is possible to live freely regardless of one's sexual orientation or gender identity Messschieber