EU experts will help solve the cases of David Dragicevic and Dzenan Memic, two young men whose controversial deaths sparked mass protests in Sarajevo and Banja Luka, the parents told N1 on Thursday after they met with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
The lifeless body of 21-year-old David Dragicevic was found in a local river in March 2018. Police initially said the death was a result of drowning but his family claims Dragicevic was brutally murdered and that authorities in the Serb-majority part of the country are covering it up to protect the perpetrators.
Tens of thousands have joined the ‘Justice for David’ group which has been frequently gathering in Banja Luka since March 2018 in what has grown into the biggest anti-government protest Republika Srpska (RS), the semi-autonomous Bosnian region, has ever seen.
At some point, the group connected with protesters from Sarajevo who have been demanding justice for Dzenan Memic, another 21-year-old whose controversial death in 2016 remains unresolved.
Dzenan’s father, Muriz Memic, also believes his son was murdered and that the judiciary in Sarajevo is covering it up.
Memic and Dragicevic’s mother, Suzana Radanovic, said that what Hahn told them in the meeting sounded “promising.”
“We are satisfied,” Radanovic declared, saying that Hahn told her them that he asked for an expert on judiciary to come to Bosnia. The expert Hahn referred to is the same one who worked on the reform of Macedonia’s judiciary, she said, adding that she asked Hahn for an independent team of investigators to look into Dragicevic’s case and for it to be transferred to the State Prosecutor’s Office.
“He said he would do everything in his power,” she said.
Although both parents appealed to the international community to help them in their fight for justice before, Radanovic said she believes the “European community did not want to get involved as we are perceived as a state with rule of law.”
She said that murders occur everywhere but that these two cases reached a point when Hahn had to get involved, adding that this gave her and Memic a boost.
Radanovic said she perceives Banja Luka and all of Bosnia as being “occupied by the mafia,” and that she can freely visit the grave of her son any time she wants to now that it was transported to Vienna, Austria, which she called “free territory.”
Memic said he was surprised when he realised Hahn was informed about the cases and that “this looks encouraging.”
“He explained to us that we should not expect anything to happen overnight,” Memic said.
“We are not asking for it to be solved overnight, we are asking for it to be solved,” he said.