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Johansson Family Back in Court
Swedish Officials Again Seek to Terminate Parents’ Custody of Domenic
The Swedish government is seeking to overturn a court ruling that upheld the parental rights of Christer and Annie Johansson. Their son Domenic (pictured above) has been in state custody since 2009.
The Social Welfare Committee responsible for keeping Domenic Johansson separated from his parents for more than three years has appealed the June 2012 court ruling that upheld Christer and Annie Johanssons’ parental rights. The Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm will hear the appeal this week on November 22 and 23.
The Johanssons’ attorney, noted human rights advocate Ruby Harrold-Claesson, explained why the Social Welfare Committee has appealed the favorable ruling.
“The committee has stated that compulsory care of Domenic should continue for as long as necessary,” said Harrold-Claesson, “and also that a court-appointed custodian of the boy is essential to ‘avoid the risk of [his parents’] unauthorized interference’ with his care.”
The district court ruling from June 2012 included firsthand testimony from 10 individuals about Christer and Annie's ability to care for their son.
“This oral evidence confirmed that Christer and Annie are loving, responsible parents who are more than capable of seeking Domenic’s best interests,” noted HSLDA Attorney and Director of International Relations Michael Donnelly. “The Social Welfare Committee’s continued attempt to terminate their parental rights is intensely disturbing, especially in the face of the numerous international treaties and documents that protect the essential and fundamental role of parents in the upbringing of their children.”
The June 2012 ruling was the family’s first victory since Swedish police seized then 7-year-old Domenic on June 26, 2009. The boy and his parents were on board a jetliner minutes from departing Sweden for Annie’s home country of India when Dominic was seized. Authorities justified the taking by pointing to the fact that Dominic was homeschooled. Authorities initially allowed the family a short, supervised visit for one hour once every five weeks. However, Christer and Annie have not seen or spoken to their son since December 2010.
Please remember Christer and Annie in your thoughts and prayers as they return to court with their attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson this Thursday and Friday.
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