The Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” Banja Luka, founded by human rights activists “Justice for David”, sent a letter to the City Administration of Banja Luka regarding the situation that is repeated at the confluence of the Crkvena stream and the Vrbas river.
For more than two years, the informal group “Justice for David” has been asking institutions to find the killers of David Dragičević (21) from Banja Luka. David disappeared on the night between March the 17th and 18th 2018, only to have his body found in the Vrbas River six days later. Already on March the 26th the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republika Srpska held an emergency press conference at which the late David was accused of being a drug addict and a burglar, and his death was qualified as accidental, although numerous injuries were present on his body. It was these accusations that aroused revolt among the citizens of Banja Luka and led them to gather in the city center every day since then.
The gatherings took place on Krajina Square until December the 25th 2018, when the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republika Srpska took a large number of police officers and special forces to the streets, who clashed with bare-handed citizens. Since then, members of this group have been pressured whenever they appear in public. So far, over 500 criminal and misdemeanor warrants have been issued to human rights activists “Justice for David”. There are currently over 300 different lawsuits for over 50 human rights activists “Justice for David.
Through this struggle for basic human rights, “Justice for David” has encountered a great deal of injustice, pain and suffering. But what is especially disturbing and especially painful is the situation that is repeated over and over by the Crkvina stream, where they found David’s body. Human rights activists “Justice for David” first planted two quinces. The first was called “Truth” and the second “Justice”. And they made a big heart – using stones from the Church. They also cleaned the whole place, cut the grass and planted flowers. The first “Heart of David” was made on April the 7th 2019 on the anniversary of David’s first funeral. The exhumation of the remains of David Dragičević, at the request of his parents Suzana Radanović and Davor Dragičević, was performed on March the 12th 2019 at the New Cemetery in Banja Luka. David was buried for the second time on March the 15th 2019 at the main cemetery of the Austrian city of Wiener Neustadt near Vienna, where his mother Suzana Radanović lives.
Only a few days later, the police removed both quinces, “Truth” and “Justice”. The detail of a broken heart on a tree is especially disturbing. Police broke David’s heart, a plastic red heart, a symbol that reminds us all of David. The police also broke David’s picture!
After a while, human rights activists “Justice for David” made another heart, planted flowers again, put candles and a picture of David. After a few days, the police removed the heart and took away the picture of David. The described process has been repeated countless times to this day, with human rights activists “Justice for David” persistently putting David’s heart, arranging the space, cleaning the part where David’s body was found, planting flowers while the police persistently removing flowers, legitimizing Banja Luka citizens, activists human rights “Justice for David” and writes sentences.
Human rights activists “Justice for David” sent a question to the City Administration of Banja Luka. “Why is he persistently removing the mark on which the lifeless body of David Dragičević was found?” The City Administration responded with a decision on the illegality of placing the sign on April the 8th 2019. A member of the communal police, Vladimir Pudar, stated in the decision on the removal of “David’s heart” from April 2019 that the erected feature represents, among other things, a danger to human health and life.
Human rights activist Ozren Perduv challenged the legality of the decision with a lawsuit, due to erroneous and incompletely established facts and incorrect application of substantive law. The acts of removing things near the Crkvena are not legal and lawful and are contrary to the laws of logic, customs and moral regulations. The decision of the verdict points out that the Mayor confirms that the communal police officer acted correctly. The mayor mentions the group “Justice for David”, an informal group of citizens who removed garbage, cleaned the shore and planted two quinces, but, according to the mayor, they cannot be identified. The judge ruled in favor of Ozren Perduv, to the detriment of the Mayor, Igor Radojicic. We take this opportunity to inform you that the aforementioned verdict ordered the Mayor’s Office to pay 950 KM within 30 days of the verdict on behalf of the costs incurred in conducting the proceedings. More than 5 months have passed since the verdict was handed down, and the funds have not been paid yet. We invite you to determine the responsibility of those whose duty it was to make the payment of the mentioned funds and to sanction them, in accordance with the law.
Human rights activists “Justice for David” have so far made over 20 of David’s hearts, during which members of “DOO Čistoća” Banja Luka removed each heart, plucked flowers and threw things into the Vrbas River. We remind you that the communal police of the city of Banja Luka continuously (for a year and a half; from April 2019 to October 2020) destroyed “David’s heart”, thus showing complete inhumanity to the unsolved tragedy that befell our city, as well as to the family of David Dragičević and human rights activists “Justice for David”.
Citizens’ Association “Path of Justice” Banja Luka, founded by human rights activists “Justice for David” for the first time on May the 30th 2020. submitted a request for the Stand on Krajina Square to the Administration of the City of Banja Luka in order to promote the goals of the Association. The President of the Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” Banja Luka, Miljan Kovač, was invited by Mile Štrbac, who promised him that June the 6th and 7th would be approved to set up a stand on Krajina Square. The President of the Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” Banja Luka, Miljan Kovač, on June the 5th received a phone call saying that there was no one to sign the approval and to report on Monday around the new date. On June the 26th 2020, the Department for Communal Affairs sent a rejection because the legal deadline for submitting program content had allegedly expired. Mile Štrbac did not inform Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” that the program contents must be submitted.
On June the 30th 2020 Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” again submitted the request for setting up the Stand on Krajina Square and received the consent of the Administration of the City of Banja Luka for setting up the Stand, which was submitted on July the 14th 2020. On the day the Stand was set up on July the 14th Communal police officer Dragan Babić made a decision to remove the Stand, although the program content stated that a symbol of the fight for basic human rights would be placed. On the same day, the consent to occupy the public area was revoked. Both letters were signed by Petar Bilčar. Then, the communal policeman Dragan Babić ordered the members of the citizens’ Association “The Path of Justice” to immediately remove everything from Krajina Square. Also, the mentioned communal policeman actively participated in the regular destruction of “David’s heart”. The Association of Citizens “The Path of Justice” reacted to the mentioned letter on the revocation of the previously given consent by signing a power of attorney to the lawyer Jovana Kisin, who presented the decision to the court. The court later issued a decision according to which the City is obliged to compensate us for those two days and determined that the basic principles of the Law on General Administrative Procedure were violated.
We hereby ask you to react in case of violation of basic human rights. Such illegal and inhuman behavior of Banja Luka City Administration employees is completely unacceptable, because it contributes to creating distrust of Banja Luka citizens in private, honest and legal work of the City Administration and creates a negative image, not only of the City Administration, but also of our city. Officials who restrict or abolish the rights and freedoms of citizens given by the Constitution certainly have no place in the City Administration. Due to all the above, we demand a review of responsibilities and, accordingly, removal from all jobs in the City Administration of the following officials:
1. Milenko Letić – former head of the Communal Police Department
2. Petar Bilčar – former head of the Department of Communal Affairs
3. Vladimir Pudar – communal police officer
4. Dragan Babić – communal police officer
5. Mile Štrbac
6.Others from the City Administration of Banja Luka who participated in dishonorable actions against members of the group “Justice for David”
We hope that you will take into account the final legal framework in which you, as the mayor, have the authority and act fairly in all of the above. We enclose the Ruling of the Court with the letter.
Thanks in advance,
Parents of the murdered David Dragičević Suzana Radanović and Davor Dragičević
Justice for David Administrative Team