Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134



For Immediate ReleaseContact: Ian Slatter
December 6, 2010(540) 338-8663

SWEDISH GOVERNMENT JAILS HOMESCHOOL FATHER



Purcellville, VA—Christer Johansson, the father of 9-year-old Domenic Johansson, and husband of Annie Johansson, was recently jailed by Swedish authorities after taking his son home for a short but “unapproved” overnight visit.

“The Swedish government has created an intolerable situation for this family, and have overreacted to Mr. Johansson taking Domenic home for the overnight visit,” said Michael Donnelly, HSLDA staff attorney.

One-and-a-half years ago Swedish police boarded a plane where the Johanssons were leaving the country for Annie’s home country of India. The police had no warrant and did not charge the Johanssons with a crime.

Authorities cite homeschooling, a few untreated cavities, and the Johanssons’ decision not to vaccinate Domenic according to the Swedish recommended vaccination schedule as the reasons given for the continued separation.

“This family is just being crushed by the Swedish government. The treatment of the Johanssons is a disgrace. They are only allowed to visit Domenic for one hour every five weeks and a 15-minute phone call every two,” said Donnelly.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, a noted international human rights lawyer and president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, said that she had “never in 20 years of practice seen a case more badly handled.”

“The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children simply because it doesn’t like homeschooling. That’s exactly what happened here,” said Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Despite the ill-advised decision on the part of Mr. Johansson, the only menace here is a government drunk with its own power. This sad circumstance is what happens when an over-powerful government pushes a parent to the point of desperation, so social services should not pretend to be surprised.”

HSLDA, in partnership with ADF, has appealed the Johansson case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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