December 13, 2014

Norwegian politician pledges help with Czech custody case

Charges were never filed against parents, but children remain in Norway

Prague, Dec 12 (ČTK) — Norwegian journalist and politician Jan Simonsen has promised to Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský that he will address Norwegian ministers and lawmakers in connection with the case of two Czech boys whom the authorities took away from their mother,Eva Michaláková, in Norway, Zdechovský’s aide told CTK today.

Zdechovský (Christian Democrats, KDU-ČSL) met Simonsen in Prague earlier today.

Simonsen reportedly pledged to inform Norwegian ministers and lawmakers about the case in which the Czech Chamber of Deputies also intervened this week.

Zdechovský said he will go to Norway at Simonsen’s invitation early next year to meet Norwegian politicians.

“We will do our utmost to prevent similar things from repeating,” Zdechovský said.

He said Simonsen, a critic of the Norwegian office for child protection, told him that the “the intensifying pressure the EU and the Czech Republic have exerted over the case is quite palpable in Norway.”

The Norwegian social service took the boys from a Czech couple in May 2011 based on a kindergarten’s report that the boys might have been sexually abused.

The police then investigated both parents but they halted the investigation without accusing anyone.

In February 2012, however, the authorities stripped the parents of their right to care for the boys, who were sent to foster families.

The mother is allowed to see the boys two hours twice a year. After Norwegian courts rejected her appeal, she in 2013 turned to the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, which, however, did not accept her complaint.

The mother plans to sue the Norwegian social service and ask for her sons to be placed in her care.

The Czech Chamber of Deputies has asked the Cabinet to seek the Norwegian cabinet’s explanation why the boys stay in foster families.

If Norway refused to cooperate with the Czech Republic on placing the boys in their family’s care, the Cabinet should take maximum efforts to bring them back to the Czech Republic, the lawmakers said.

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