In response to a letter expressing concern on human rights abuses in Montenegro, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) responds to the Albanian-American Association's "Malesia e Madhe" concern on freedom of press issues after the Albanian newspaper Koha Javore was denied funding to continue its paper circulation. Koha Javore was the only Albanian language newspaper in Montenegro, and received funding from the Montenegrin state, but due to budget cuts a decision was made that Koha Javore was an "unnecessary expense" that was first on the cutting block.
July 8, 2009
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-2202
Mr. Gjergj Ivezaj
Albanian-American Association “Malёsia e Madhe”
49920 Van Dyke
Shelby Township, MI 48317
Dear Mr. Ivezaj:
Thank you for contacting me regarding human rights abuses in Montenegro. My office receives a significant number of constituent updates on human rights abuses abroad. These are all very serious situations and I appreciate the diligence with which you monitor them.
Human rights violations not only harm the citizens they are perpetrated against, they also threaten the development of democratic societies. To prevent these types of abuses, we must encourage compliance with international standards on human rights and consider a country’s record on human rights in our diplomatic relations and in determining foreign and military aid issues.
Again, thank you for your update. I will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. Best wishes.