#FreeNikola: Shock sentence upheld against conservative youth leader in Montenegro

#FreeNikolai
Friends,

Just over a week ago the Higher Court of Montenegro confirmed the sentence of the President of the Movement for Changes (PzP) Youth Network, Nikola Bajčetić. Nikola is a great friend to many in the International Young Democrat Union and this verdict has sent shockwaves around the world.

Bajčetić was sentenced to three months in prison following his arrest during anti-government demonstrations in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica in last fall.

“I am saddened first and foremost because Nikola is a close friend of mine. He is a good man, a strong leader, and a true freedom fighter,” said Jason Emert, chairman of the International Young Democrat Union. “Furthermore, this is a set back for democratic progress in Montenegro. Montenegrins deserve better than a corrupt government and a compromised judiciary.”

In October 2015 Nikola was one of the fearless leaders of the protests for free and fair elections, which have not occurred in Montenegro since the fall of communism. These protests garnered the support of thousands of Montenegrins threatening the stranglehold on the nation by the corrupt socialist government. Because of this encroachment on the regime’s power, the demonstration was forcibly broken up by state police. In fact, a shocking video of the incident, shown here, was filmed by one of the policemen and shows the security forces dragging Nikola out of his destroyed vehicle before turning their batons on him, severely injuring him. Today, according to the police, this video does not exist.

“The fact that I was sentenced to prison, even though I only needed to be prosecuted for misdemeanor that I made in the morning of October 17, 2015, and that none of the uniformed criminals, who beat me up and vandalized my car, have not been prosecuted yet, nor will ever be, is scandalous and is showing that this is clearly a political verdict,” Nikola claims.

“Nikola and his family will remain at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers during his imprisonment. This injustice has not deterred him, nor will it deter us in working with PzP to realize a free and democratic Montenegro,” Emert stated.

For more information about his experience, please read his interview with Katrina Jorgensen of Opportunity Lives.

#FreeNikola

In freedom,

Jason F. Emert, Esq.
Chairman
International Young Democrat Union
jason.emert@iydu-network.org
@jasonemert