Accessibility links

Breaking News

Thousands Rally Again In Bosnian Serb Capital Over Student's Death

Justice for David protesters rally in Banja Luka on December 28.

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Thousands have rallied peacefully in the ethnic Serb-dominated entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina to support a man whose push to learn the cause of his son's death has raised questions of police interference in the case.

Despite a steady rain, protesters, led by Davor Dragicevic, gathered on December 30 in the capital's Krajina Square demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Dragana Lukac. Protesters booed as they passed government buildings and chanted "We are with you, Davor."

Dragicevic founded the Justice for David movement after the death in March of his son, David Dragicevic.

David, a technology student, was found dead in a local creek a week after going missing. His father says he was abducted, tortured, and murdered. He has accused police of involvement.

"I'm not going away. There's no turning back," Dragicevic told the crowd. "I will stand here for as long as it takes."

The 21-year-old David had gone out on March 18 with his friends but never returned. Six days later, his body was found.

Police say that Dragicevic had been caught up in a fight at a cafe and that they found alcohol and drugs in his system. The case was called a drowning and originally ruled a suicide.

Milorad Dodik, the recently reelected Serbian member of Bosnia's multiethnic presidency, has called the protests "politically motivated" and denies police wrongdoing.

The protests around the case have also tapped into local discontent over widespread corruption and Bosnia's weak economy.

Suzana Dragicevic, David's mother, also addressed the crowd, telling them their story is real and the people need to press the authorities to admit what really happened.

"What we are saying about the police is not a fairy tale," she told the protesters.

"That's just the reality. You have to accept that we are not crazy and we aren't talking nonsense," she added.