Protest for David arrives to Zagreb, Dodik threatens prosecutors


  • Mario Pušić


Damir Krajac / CROPIX

Banja Luka square

Some 50 people attended the protest in Zagreb organized by Gordana Pasanec, who initiated 10 or so protests thus far.

"We who live in Zagreb with all our hearts have decided to support the 'Heart for David' initiative after Beograd, Sarajevo and Mostar did the same. We want to show that we support killed David's parents and are against police brutality and arrogance in the neighboring country, which showed every way it could that it is not in the service of its citizens, but protects interests of individuals and corrupted State officials among whose ranks there are 'former' criminals."

Citizens of Zagreb were invited to a peaceful gathering at the Cvjetni Square at 5 p.m., which the organizers dubbed "Zagreb for David" and asked the citizens not to wear any party or other insignia. Some 50 people gathered at the Square.

"It is on weekend"

Activist Gordana Pasanec is behind the protest aimed at supporting the young man who died under suspicious circumstances, which she confirmed.

-When I saw what was happening in Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Belgrade, adrenaline hit me. Especially when we saw that Belgrade reacted. We said - why would not Zagreb react? We hope that other cities will become involved following the protest in Zagreb - said the organizer of the protest.

Gordana Pasanec is an activist from Zagreb known for organizing or taking part in many protests, including the protest at the Health Ministry where protestors demanded the resignation of Minister of Health Milan Kujundžić, she organized the signing of the petition for stopping devastation of forests as well as organized the initiative to secure a hawk for Siget with the aim of solving the crow problem.

New wave of protests

The situation in the streets of Banja Luka has changed in the meantime, after police moved members of the "Justice for David" initiative from Krajina Square in city center. However, it appears that the battle is escalating into a political showdown between protestors and the Government of Republika Srpska. Davor Dragičević has been looking for answers to the question how his 21-year-old son died since March and he invited his fellow citizens on Thursday afternoon to join him at the new protest: "What will the weekend bring? It will bring justice for our David. We will go to the end at 6 p.m. Peace and dignity." Hundreds of commentators supported him and demanded justice, with some connecting his statement with former Yugoslav rock band Bajaga i instruktori's "Pada vlada."

Chairman and Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik apparently realized that the situation in Banja Luka reached the boiling point. Yesterday, in his own way,he called for justice for David. He stated that, unless a ruling is made soon on the death of David Dragičević, he would invite citizens to protest before the County State Attorney's Office himself.

- If the decision is not made in a month or two, I will call on the citizens to come to the State Attorney's Office and we will kick them from their offices because they are not doing their jobs well. They can think of it whatever they want. They were obligated to inform the public about what happened, rather than I or someone else having to do it. This is unacceptable - said Dodik.

He reminded that judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Republika Srpska, was created by the international community, and pointed out that Pravda za Davida activists should have directed democratic pressure towards State prosecutors rather than institutions of Republika Srpska with the aim of addressing the problem and replacing the responsible. He defended his Interior Minister Dragan Lukač, accused by Dragičević of sabotaging the investigation and destroying evidence, stressing that there is no proof he is guilty.

Call on institutions

-I am not protecting anyone and Institutions have to solve this case. The Government wants this case solved. I will personally call for responsibility of prosecutors as they failed to react for nine months and they cannot continue hiding behind their independence - said Dodik and added that "gathering at the Krajina Square got a political dimension a long time ago."

President of Republika Srpska Željka Cvijanović criticized relevant institutions and stressed that she "expects them to do their jobs when it comes to the case of the death of David Dragičević, the young man from Banja Luka, adding that it is in everyone's interest that truth be found and justice be served." She noted that she understands the parents of the young man and stressed that she is sorry for their loss and does not hold anything against them.

-I am afraid that many are preventing us from learning the truth and serving justice, and are abusing their positions for political manipulation. I find this alarming, as I do the artificial image of Republika Srpska that is being created - said Željka Cvijanović.

Some institutions are still doing their jobs, such as police, which arrested five persons yesterday under suspicion of assaulting police officers during the protest on Tuesday.