Tensions soared in the Serb-run part of Bosnia after police on Tuesday detained the man whose quest for the truth in the death of his son has sparked months of anti-government protests.
Police said they detained Davor Dragicevic after he failed to appear for questioning. Several other people also have been detained, including Dragicevic’s ex-wife and some opposition politicians.
The European Union delegation in Bosnia said they were “deeply concerned” over the arrest and demanded an explanation from the Bosnian Serb police.
Davor Dragicevic’s “Justice for David” movement has been demanding the truth behind the March death of his 21-year-old David. Police had initially said it was a suicide but the family insists he was killed.
Protests over David Dragicevic’s death have drawn thousands of people and inspired wider discontent with top-level corruption and the country’s bleak economic prospects long after Bosnia’s devastating 1992-95 war.
Videos from the central square in Banja Luka, the main city in the Serb mini-state in Bosnia, showed police scuffling with citizens while arresting some of them Tuesday. The lawyers for Davor Dragicevic said he was hurt during the arrest but police denied that.
Special police later deployed to the square and authorities removed the memorial for David Dragicevic, where Bosnians for months have been lighting candles and putting flowers around his photos. Dozens of people gathered at the scene, some crying.
“We are following the developments closely in Banja Luka and urge everyone to stay calm and refrain from violence,” the EU delegation and the EU Special Representative said. “Today’s turn of events in Banja Luka sends a negative and alarming signal about the state of rule of law.”
Source: The Associated Press