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Ex-Yugoslavia: Montenegro - Brutal attack on peace activist Sabina Talović

Thursday 25 November 2021, by siawi3

Source: Women In Black network, 25.11.21

Statement about brutal attack on peace activist Sabina Talović

Anima - The Center for Women’s and Peace Education from Kotor/Montenegro strongly condemns the brutal physical attack on longtime peace activist Sabina Talović that took place in Pljevlja/Montenegro, November 20, 2021. The attack is not an isolated incident, but one in a series of attacks on Sabina in her town – Pljevlja/Montenegro - where peace and security have been disrupted by savage and unpunished nationalist outbursts for more than a year, and minorities have suffered various forms of violence. So far, the state authorities have not found an adequate response to these outbursts of nationalistic terror, to frequent threats and hate speech addressed to the citizens of the Muslim national and religious community from Pljevlja, Montenegro.

We praise the quick intervention of the police, but we believe that it must not stop there. The government must ensure the safety of Sabina Talović and her family, who have been exposed to long-term targeting, harassment, name-calling and threats. Sabina is our sister, ally and an activist who is there when it is most difficult and most needed, and this state is obliged to protect those who protect the most endangered.

We appeal to everyone to come to their senses and not allow this to happen again. Impunity must not remain the rule! Today it was Sabina, tomorrow it could be anyone else.

Anima Team

Kotor, Nov. 20, 2021

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Solidarity support to Sabina Talović - Women in Black, Belgrade

Sabina Talović is one of the most important activists not only in her town, in the state of Montenegro, but also one of the most prominent antiwar/feminist/antimilitarist/antifascist activist, women human rights defender in the whole region. Sabina Talović, founder and coordinator of Open Center Bona Fide from Pljevlja/Montenegro is part of Women in Black Network; Sabina is very actively engaged in a lot of activities, especially against impunity/dealing with the past; Sabina is one of the most important pillars of international solidarity with refugees in the whole region.

Sabina and other Bona Fide activists have organized aid for refugees as of 2017 and till now more than ten thousand refugees/migrants have passed through this center. In this place, they can get food, clothing and footwear, and large numbers stay overnight, while some stay for a longer period of time. WiB Network activists provided humanitarian aid and WIB go very often to Pljevlja supporting solidarity activities of the Bona Fide center. Despite very frequent threats and risks, Sabina and Bona Fide never stopped their solidarity actions - with members of vulnerable and disadvantaged minority communities (social-class, ethnic-racial, sexual).

Sabina Talović has been participating since the beginning of the organizing process of Women’s Court– a feminist approach to justice. Sabina gave an extremely important testimony in this historical event – Women’s Court, which took place in Sarajevo, in May 2015. Sabina testified about ethnic violence in the session “The persecution of the different at wartime and peace time alike” (we sent her testimony).

In the continuation of the Women’s Court/W’sC process Sabina has been participating in all activities: attending very actively regional meetings, attending trials at Special Court for war crimes in both Belgrade and in Sarajevo; participating in public presentations of W’s C in all ex-Yugoslav countries, organizing presentations on her town. In the framework of W’sC activity ‘Feminist Ethics of Care and Responsibility’ Sabina organized a lot of workshops in Pljevlja, northern part of Montenegro, among Muslim/Bosniak women who face very deep fear of public speaking about the crimes of ethnic cleansing during the war (1991-1999). These are unrecognized, unpunished crimes and suppressed traumas that women survived and the trauma was transmitted across generations, and ethnic discrimination is still present. The aim of these workshops was to create a safe space, empower women to testify about ethnic violence, and on the other hand, to strengthen mutual support, solidarity and non-violence culture. Workshops were coordinated by Ljupka Kovačević, feminist therapist, an activist from the Peace Group “Anima” from Kotor and a female therapist at the W’sC.

We strongly support Sabina’s activist work, we admire her commitment, passion, emotional, moral and political engagement. Together with Montenegro and other regional and international activists, we’ll fight against impunity and for justice for Sabina Talović!

We will inform you about the development of the situation regarding the attack on Sabina Talović, and we will especially monitor the work of the state authorities in Montenegro in connection with this attack.

(Staša Zajović, Women in Black, Belgrade)