The Report of the First International Conference
“Justice for David and All Children of BiH”
In cooperatioon with Ludwig Boltzmann Institute For Human Rights
First International Conference “Justice For David and All Children of Bosnia and Herzegovina” was held on 12th of September 2019. in Conference Hall VHS Ottakring, Ludo-Hartmann-Platz 7, Vienna. „Civil activism in the service of promoting the importance and establishment of real governing rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina“ was the subject of the international conferance which was organized by association „Justice for David and All Children of Bosnia and Herzegovina“, in Vienna. The purpose of this event was to insist on the criminal responsibility of all those who, through the act and the omission, led to obstruction of the investigation in the murder of David Dragičević.
Among others, the conference was attended by representatives of: Austrian Ministry of International and European Affairs, Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Section for the Western Balkans, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, Austrian Institute for International Policy, Postgraduate Studies in Human Rights and Departments of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, as well as representatives of human rights organizations like Transparency
International. The conference was attended by representatives of media institutions from the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The opening speech of the parents of murdered David Dragičević was followed by a lecture on the “Chronology of the Dragičević case, with emphasis on the failures of the justice system and the police”, held by Jelena Marjanovic, human rights activist of the Justice for David and All Children of Bosnia and Herzegovina Vienna.
The conference was also supposed to be attended by members of the Memic family to present the Dženan Memić case, but due to an urgent call to the Prosecution, which they received two days before, they were prevented from attending the conference. The introductory lecture was followed by two Panel discussions.
- The panel discussion was held on the topic: Protests and Freedom of the Media in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The presentation was delivered by human rights activists Jelena Marjanović and
Marko Nikolić. The panel moderator was Prof. Dr. Vedran Džihić, Austrian Institute for
International Policy. Panel discussion participants were:
• Martin Pammer, Former Ambassador to BiH (Focus: Challenges of Political System)
• Uglješa Vuković, Transparency International BiH, analyst / researcher
• Marko Nikolić, Justice for David, human rights activist
• Jelena Marjanović, Justice for David, human rights activist
- A panel discussion was held on the topic (non) dependency of the judiciary. The presentation was
made by a lawyer Milan Malešević.
The presentation “Executive Authority Against the Judicial Power” was held by Stefan Blagić,
Restart Srpska, Political Science, Human Rights Activist. The panel moderator was Prof. Dr. Sanda
Üllen, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna. Panel discussion
• Damjan Ožegović, Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina, lawyer
• Milan Malešević, lawyer, Pravda za Davida
• Vesna Malešević, professor of philosophy and sociology, UNSA, human rights activist
• Stefan Blagić, Media „Restart Srpska“, Political Sciences, human rights activist
The conference participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the chronology of the
„Dragičević“ case with a focus on the controversial press conference, information on the Inquiry
Committee, police and prosecution activities, how the protests in Banja Luka were conducted, and
how the institutions reacted.
Attendees were thoroughly acquainted with state media coverage of these events and all the ways in
which the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina were violated and
disregarded. They were also informed in detail of the controversial events on December 25th and
30th, 2018, and of the new legislation that the RS Government planned to introduce after mentioned
All the events that followed, ending with the date of the conference, were listed and described to the
participants. During the presentations and panel discussions, a detailed analysis of the Press
Conference, held on March 26, 2018, was made, as all the statements of the relevant police and
institutions leaders of Republic of Srpska were described and translated. Also, a detailed analysis of
the protests was made, how they were held, with a particular emphasis on state television coverage,
was also presented.
As Prof. Dr. Vedran Dzihic pointed out, it is important to note that this conference, in addition to all
the above, has a double significance. The first is the documentation of all the events, starting with
the murder, ending with the date of the conference. An essential part of the fight led by the „Justice
for David movement“ is the documentation of the „Dragičević“ case and every other case of
unsolved child killings.Through documentation and analysis that reflects intellect, fairness and
rationality, we can reach our final goal.
The second importance of the First International Conference “Justice for David and All the Children
of BiH” is reflected in the introductory speech by Davor Dragičević, who emphasized that we are in
Vienna because the state and its institutions have failed, so we are not where we need to be, which
doesn’t mean that fight for justice and truth is less significant, which is the message of the
conference. The „Dragičević“ case and the first long-lasting, civil, non-political „Justice for David“
protest is something that is universal and in no way can be expelled from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the way that David Dragičević’s family has been expelled.
The peaceful protest gathering of the Justice for David movement arose out of a common need of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens for justice, which is not a common occurrence. The symbol of civil protests, the raised hand, are the universal symbol of resistance, which is marked by these protests. The largest protest gathered on October 5th, 2018 recorded unprecedented photos and videos that testify to a unique moment in the last 50 years of Banja Luka’s history, and much more, and remained as a unique moment in the former Yugoslav and European territories. The massiveness and courage seen from the beginning of these peaceful protests and peaceful gathering until the moment when the police, with their repressive force, set out to confirm what the citizens of Republic of Srpska, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, already knew, is to witness police state, not democratic and institutional state. Courage is central to all these events.
Conference participant Martin Pammer and other panelists pointed out that ethnopolitics, politics of fear, policies of instrumentalising ethnic identities, covering up crimes, theft, corruption, malpractice and nepotism have become something that defines Bosnia and Herzegovina. The politics of lies has become the parade of present-day of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is still in operation today.
“Something that appears as a lie cannot overpower the truth in a long term, a lie can build an institution around it, a lie can be armed, a lie can be used by a police force, but it cannot exist in the long term. Almost no regime in humanity that has been long termed on lies policies has survived. The politics of lies is not eternal, but the more we as citizens are engaged, the shorter the lifetime of such politics will be, ”Professor Vedran Džihić said in conclusion.
A more universal character is the issue of fundamental human rights, which was limited at every moment of police repression, so clearly highlighted by police procedures in front of the Temple of “Christ the Savior” where certain citizens are released into the Temple courtyard until members of the Justice for David group were not released into the courtyard of the temple. Such actions are a direct indicator of a violation of the BiH Convention of Human Rights, to which Bosnia and Herzegovina is a signatory. Uglješa Vuković stated all the efforts and efforts of human rights organizations that invested in testing the so-called rule of law institution, the so-called Legal State, and dissolving lies behind the scenes of alleged democratic elections, alleged democratic formation of government and alleged democratic institutions. But lies behind the scenes, what the group Justice for David has shown, which is that it is a captured state, a police state, not a democratic state. The question remains of this (un) systematic arrangement of institutions? At this point, there is no central distance, a central factor that can answer this question.
Martin Pammer, a former ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, described the international community’s powerlessness in this matter, the powerlessness of those who may be able to initiate certain sanctions to sanction the behavior of those who represent us. Describing themselves as a stable democracy, which implies the central interest of certain structures of the international community to keep the situation in BiH stable, it is reflected in the political interests of EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina political representatives who are in the interest of maintaining an apparent
situation of peace and stability. As Pammer pointed out, those who are supposedly legitimately elected but not legitimately elected because the election process itself is not legitimate, not transparent, they are those with which EU lawmakers have a common interest in maintaining a situation that is in the interest of political structures, powerlessness of the international community but also powerlessness of citizens who do not have access to legitimate choices. The conclusions of the second panel primarily concerned the mass destruction and violation of basic human rights resulting from a series of legal and investigative illogicalities present in the analysis of the „Dragičević“ case. The analysis shows a great manipulation of the evidence and even the disappearance of one piece of evidence. Moderator of the Legal panel, Prof. Dr. Sanda Üllen emphasized the statements of the Minister of the Interior Dragan Lukač, who answered the journalist’s question about the disappearance of the evidence, “Have you ever lost something in your life?”
The role of media and media presentation of the „Dragičević“ case to the general public was highlighted itself, as well as long-term, civil, non-political protests, where attention was drawn to the role of the state public service and the way it presented misinformations from the very beginning. The Republic of Srpska Public Radio Service continues to publish misinformations and lies in this and in other cases of killings and violations of fundamental human rights. Particularly prominent is the pressure on the Dragičević family and the human rights activists „Justice for David“. The key question is the responsibility of the state and state institutions, as well as the responsibility of civil society. It has been shown that we have pressure on the family and human rights activists of the „Justice for David“ group, thereby neutralizing the responsibilities of the institutions, but also secondary victimization of the Dragičević family, as well as criminalizing the victim, the parents of the murdered child, and human rights activists who have been triggered by injustice and became a part of the protest gatherings. Further manipulation of those institutions tasked with working for the interest of citizens, continues to attempt to divide citizens into “suitable” and “unsuitable”, in the event of police repression during peaceful civil gatherings in the courtyard of the Temple of “Christ the Savior”.
Through the presentation of Stefan Blagić, he shows that the direct issue of the executive authority interferes into the legislative authority, what qualifies as a crime and is a violation of elementary legal norms, which has been shown to be called without consequence and responsibility. An elemental part of a democracy has been commissioned in this and in many other cases, which again confirms the fact of the existence of a captured, police state and institution.
Damjan Ožegović gave a clear analysis of the lawsuits filed in cases of violation and violation of basic human rights. He pointed out that the legal institutions obstruct and do not initiate those legal processes that could damage the reputation of the institutions while others, in which this is not the case, are put in the procedure. What can be resolved within 30 days is not initiated by the competent authorities, which is an indication of the institutions’ inefficiency. The open question arises of citizens’ actions, institutions and the international community, in the context of improving the situation? Considering that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a member of the Council of Europe since 2002, when it ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, this document has been an integral part of its legal order for 17 years. Consequently, the Convention is directly applicable and has priority over other laws.
Certainly the most important question is how much benefit Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens have from the guarantees it provides them. The Memić case in the judicial system of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Dragičević case in The Republic of Srpska shows that it is only a dead letter on paper in BiH, as basic rights, such as the right to life which is brutally affected. The long-lasting, civil, non-political protests of Justice for David have taken on a global scale, and so we have had protests as a reflection of common solidarity and mutual understanding in many cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with peaceful, civil gatherings repeated in several cities. Likewise, protest gatherings have been organized in numerous cities in the European Union and in the world. This solidarity can be continued throughout common activities.
In the same way that the report and chronology of the murder of David Dragičević was drafted, with the aim of the association “Justice for David and All the Children of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, is to make a comprehensive, global report for all unsolved murders of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond. We will translate mentioned report into English and German and with this report we will contact all official institutions in EU as well as world wide. Organizations, Associations, Lawyers, Judges, Prosecutors, Chambers of Advocates, International Human Rights Courts, Human Rights Organizations, International Associations dealing with Victims of Corruption and Crime, and Organizations concerned with protection of basic human rights and violations of same.
We hereby appeal to all human rights activists across Bosnia and Herzegovina to send us information about unsolved child killings. We also appeal to all human rights activists across the EU and cities around the world to provide us information of these institutions from their cities. We hereby appeal to the media throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to send us texts, news and articles related with unsolved child killings and thus help us to bring the truth and justice in the case of the brutal murder of David Dragičević and other innocently killed children of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the purpose of implementing other projects, we also invite all artists who have written, inspired by David’s life as a work of art, and contact us to work together.
For all requests and information, please send us an email