Local political parties and non-government organizations have warned of an “epidemic” of teen violence in Montenegro, days after teenagers attacked two young Bosnian athletes in the town of Bar on Saturday.
Police filed criminal charges against five young people from Bar after the group attacked two members of the Sarajevo athletic club. The victims were staying in a nearby hotel.
“While we were buying snacks in a nearby shop, five unknown guys of our age attacked us for no reason. We didn’t say anything, nor did we have any intention of provoking anyone,” said Harun Kuric, one of the athletes who was attacked.
“I am a little disappointed in our youth. We shouldn’t treat each other like this,” he added.
According to police, one of the victims was taken to the hospital with a broken nose and jawbone.
The attackers were aged between 15 and 8, and have been charged with violent behavior and the crime of inflicting serious bodily injury.
The mother of one of the victims, Arduana Pribinja, said her son Harun had sustained “cuts on the back of his head and bruises,” but is otherwise in good condition.
“They attacked them quickly and for no reason. Harun only raised his hands and said ‘Don’t beat us’. They attacked them with metal bats and other fighting objects,” Pribinja told reporters.
Government officials, political parties, and non-government organizations all criticized the incident of teen violence, calling state institutions to deal appropriately with the worsening issue of violence committed by young people.
“Violence in schools and in general places where young people gather is almost reaching the proportions of an epidemic. State authorities should face this problem as soon as possible,” deputy parliament speaker Branka Bosnjak said.
In the months from February, police have received several cases of juvenile attacks in the capital of Podgorica.
On 14 April, a group of young people attacked two students in front of a high school as the group was passing by. After the victims reported the incident to police, the same group threatened them again.
On 6 March, a teenager from Podgorica was beaten by three young men. In the attack, he was accused by his attackers of wearing a Serbian football club Red Star T-shirt. The group was arrested by police the following day, and video footage was released of the same group attacking students in front of an elementary school.
According to State Prosecution data, 565 minors were charged with breaking the law in 2020.
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