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Update—Urgent Action Needed: Send Cards to Johansson Family in Sweden
Christer Johansson, whose 9-year-old son Domenic Johansson has been in state custody since June 2009, remains in prison for taking Domenic home for a short but “unapproved” overnight visit last week.
Authorities are holding Christer on “suspicion of unlawful detention” and, alternatively, “heavy-handedness with a child.” Under Swedish law, both charges are punishable with one to 10 years in prison.
In a new development, Swedish officials have denied Christer Johansson the attorney of his choosing. Shortly after his arrest, Christer requested that noted human rights attorney Tryggve Emstedt of Gävle, Sweden represent him. Emstedt’s colleague, human rights attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson, reports, “The court informed me [yesterday] that Christer’s request...had been rejected.” The Swedish courts previously removed Harrold-Claesson from the Johanssons’ case on questionable grounds. (See “Sweden Denies Due Process to Family.”)
HSLDA has learned that Christer’s court date has been set for December 20. “We are asking families in the U.S. and across the globe to remember this family during the Christmas season,” says Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s director of international relations. “Please lift them up in prayer and consider sending a note of encouragement.” Mail to Mr. Johansson would encourage him and remind Swedish authorities that families and homeschoolers around the world are paying close attention to this situation.
Please send a Christmas card or a short note of encouragement to Christer at:
621 23 VISBY
A Message from Friends of Domenic Johansson
Please also read a message recently posted on the “Friends of Domenic Johansson” website and consider sending the letter below to the judge who will preside over Christer’s trial December 20.
Dear friends and supporters of Domenic Johansson,
As you might have heard or read, Domenic’s father, Christer Johansson, is in prison awaiting trial on December 20, 2010. He was arrested after bringing Domenic home after a supervised meeting. These extremely rare meetings of one hour every five weeks, and under close watch of authorities, have been torture for this family, who have suffered unimaginable psychological stress and pressure. Imagine only being allowed to see your young child for this limited time over the last 18 months. They have not even been allowed to see Domenic on his birthday and holidays.
Christer has also twice been denied his right to choose his own legal representative.
We really want to bring this issue into focus and show our support for Christer in the upcoming trial on the 20th. Because travel ticket prices are high to the island of Gotland due to the impending holiday season, our initial thought of getting a group of supporters to go to Gotland in person and hold a peaceful demonstration outside the court, sadly had to be scrapped.
We have come up with another idea for which we need all the support we can get. We would like you, wherever you are in the world, to please print or copy the Swedish text found below and post this as a letter or postcard to the judge who will lead the trial on the 20th.
His name and address is:
Lagman Mikael Mellqvist
Or encourage your friends and family members to email the court at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can, send both the postcard/letter and email for greater impact.
We are hoping that if we bombard the Gotland courts and judge with letters and emails of support, it will show them the strength of feeling regarding this case.
Time is of the essence, so please send this as soon as you possibly can. Please sign your name and country to lend more credibility to your letters and emails. (If you prefer to stay anonymous, that is fine, too). What’s important is that we get as many people to do this as possible.
Till Lagman Mikael Mellqvist
Jag är mycket oroad över hur svenska myndigheter och domstolar har behandlat Christer Johansson och över LVU- omhändertagandet av hans son Domenic Johansson. När Christer måndagen den 22 november 2010 tog med sig Domenic gjorde han en överilad handling.
Han är en kärleksfull far som inte längre kunde stå emot sin längtan efter sonen Domenic, som han bara har fått träffa 1 timme var femte vecka och då alltid övervakad av någon myndighetsperson.
Christer är ingen brottsling, men han har levt under oerhörd psykisk press och stress sedan 1,5 år tillbaka när de sociala myndigheterna beslöt att på ytterst tveksamma grunder tvångsomhänderta hans barn.
Jag vädjar till Er att låta Christer Johansson slippa straff och att ni respekterar de mänskliga rättigheterna som stadgas i Europakonventionen.
For Your Information Only
Below is the Swedish text translated into English for you to know what you are sending. Please send the message using Swedish text and not the English text below. The below text is simply for your information.
Swedish text translation in English:
Please read more on Facebook or at Friends of Domenic Johansson at Blogspot.com.
To Judge Mikael Mellqvist
I am extremely worried about how the Swedish authorities and courts are treating Christer Johansson and the circumstances of the forceful abduction of his son Domenic by Gotland Social Services.
When Christer decided to bring his son home on Monday, 22 November 2010, it was the action of a man who had been driven to desperation.
Christer is a loving father who could no longer bear to be apart from his only son Domenic. A son who he had only been able to see for one hour every five weeks and then always under close supervision by authorities.
Christer Johansson is not a criminal, but he has had to endure huge psychological stress and pressure for the past one and a half years, ever since the Social Services took away his son on the weakest of pretexts.
I entreat you to please respect Christer Johansson’s human rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. Please ensure that justice is served and that Christer Johansson is released without further punishment.
Thank you for your support.
Blessings to all and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
—Friends of Domenic Johansson
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For background on the Johansson’s situation, please see: