Dec 20, 2010

Christer Johansson's rights

Christer Johansson has less rights than thieves, rapists and murderers

Domenic and Dad, a close, loving relationship.
On Monday, November 22, 2010, a distraught Christer Johansson left a social services state supervised visit, taking his only child, Domenic, with him. Johansson did not have permission to take his son home, but did so in response to 18 months of pleas by Domenic to be allowed to go home to the family he loves and misses. After calling authorities on Wednesday, November 24th to turn himself in, Johansson now sits in a Visby, Sweden jail cell. All of the citizens of the Swedish island of Gotland have been breathing a sigh of relief ever since Johasson's incarceration. And rightly so! The lives of Gotland's citizens are much safer now that this loving, caring, gentle and sensitive father and husband is safely locked behind bars.  

Today, December 20, 2010, Christer Johansson was brought before a Swedish judge to face trial for his crimes against Sweden. While we do not yet know the outcome of this "trial" what we do know in leading up to today's legal circus is that Christer Johansson has less rights than Swedish thieves, rapists and murderers. 

Since November 24th, the behind-the-scenes legal battle has focused on securing the best possible defense for Johansson, who has requested representation by Trygve Emstedt, Gävle, a lawyer with 30 years experience specializing in human rights. Incorporated into Sweden's constitution in January 1995, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), under Article 6, guarantees every Swedish citizen the right to choose their own representative and the right to a fair trial as provided within the foundation of a legally secure process.

Father and son, a strong, loving bond.

In direct defiance of Swedish and European Union laws, Gotland City Courts have refused Johansson's guaranteed rights by rejecting his appeal for of a defense by Emstedt and has instead continues to maintain Shantu Brahmbhatt as his public defender.  Apparently, everyone in Sweden enjoys the guarantee of ECHR Article 6 except Christer Johansson. 

There two very good reasons why Johansson has rejected Brahmbhatt as his counsel. First, having only recently been accepted to the bar in June 2010, Brahmbhatt has only negligible and even questionable experience before the court. Naturally, Johnasson desires, and is guaranteed, to exercise his right to obtain the best defense available while he defends his right to liberty. 


Secondly, Johansson is only too aware of Brahmbhatt's inept legal counsel, for it is Brahmbhatt who was appointed by Gotland City Courts to defend Annie Johansson's rights as Domenic's mother. All who have been following the Johansson case since 2009 realize Brahmbhatt, as Annie Johansson's defender, has done little more than appear before Gotland's courts and has simply followed the edicts of Gotland Social Services. To date, Brahmabhatt has never forged an independent defense of Annie Johansson's rights, therefore it is not to be expected that she would forge an independent defense of Christer Johansson before the Gotland bench today. Earlier this year, Annie Johansson appealed to the courts to have Brahmabhatt removed as her public defender. Her appeal was met with a thumbing by the Swedish courts, as well.

In addition to fact that Article 6 of the ECHR, ratified in Sweden's constitution, guarantees Christer Johansson the choice of legal representation, the aforementioned reasons should have been enough for Gotland City Courts to grant Johansson new legal counsel. However, as we've witnessed since June 25, 2009, when armed police swarmed an India bound jet just before it taxied the runway at Sweden's Stockholm-Arlanda Airport removing then 7 year-old Domenic without a warrant and without ever charging Christer and Annie Johansson with a crime, Sweden's courts, especially those on Gotland Island, seem to operate under their own laws of justice, ignoring the rights of this family under Sweden's constitution and the ECHR.

Below is translated text from a story out of Sweden regarding Christer's trail today 


Dad on trial for kidnapping
I only wanted to see my son. That's how the man in his 40's explained it who was today on trial for illegally having abducted his son placed into foster care.


It was last November, when the man was meant to have had a supervised meeting with his son, that he pulled his son into his car and drove away. For a couple of days he kept his son with him before the police could arrest him.


Today the main proceedings took place at Gotland district court. The prosecution against the man was charged as kidnapping, or possibly illegal deprivation of liberty.


The man explained his actions with having to see his son, but he doesn't feel he's committed any crime.


The court considers it proven that he's committed the acts he's been indicted for, but before a sentence and sanction is delivered, he's to go through a major investigation by forensic psychiatry.


Hence the main proceedings won't end for another four weeks. Until then the man remains in jail.

********************
In another news account from Sweden, we've learned that Domenic gave a video testimony regarding the time he spent with his father and family after Christer took him home for a few days. According to the news account, Domenic told the court that when his father took him, he was scared at first but then he thought it was really great to be with his father and other relatives. He described his time away from state care as an adventure and had nothing negative to say about the experience.

This story can be found here:   
http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=94&artikel=4250998

Dec 19, 2010

Guest Writer: Daragh McInerney

Be outraged
by Daragh McInerney, home educating parent, Spain.

Be outraged.

Do.

Feel angry.

If you don’t, something’s wrong.

Read about what has happened to Domenic. Put yourself in his shoes, those of his parents. Still feel nothing? Then I’m sorry, you’ve been too long in the system. Get out before you die from stupor.

Or maybe it’s just me. I home educate my children. I live in a foreign country. There are cases of persecution of parents by social services in Spain, too. Maybe someone might not like my accent, my hair, the clothes my children wear, the way they look, how well they read. It could happen to me, so it’s natural I empathize, right?

It could happen to you.

My children used to go to school. They weren’t happy, so we took them out. Everyone can have children. The same thing could happen to anyone, where you make a decision to do what is best for your children, what you think is the right thing to do, that you see in front of your eyes, that you’ve learned from nights being up with your child when your child is ill, being with them in moments of joy and sorrow, developing the strong, deep connection that is natural between parent and child.

Then imagine someone decides that they know better than you, that some soon-to-be-disproved theory on how many exams children should do per term or how important it is for children to learn to sit still for long periods of time should take precedence over what you think to be best. Imagine this person is backed by a whole system that would take your child from you, not allow you to comfort him, would imprison you if you wanted to spend more time with him.

There’s something rotten in the state of Sweden.

But it’s not only there, it’s around the corner, in your country, in mine, in the mind of someone who believes that the state should interfere in the lives of people who aren’t from the right background, the right class, the right country. When a happy child is taken from his parents ‘for his own good’, when a man is imprisoned for putting his child’s happiness above rule 502, and a woman is left without her husband or her son, something is rotten.

"If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next" 

                                                                      -Manic Street Preachers.

Dec 17, 2010

HSLDA Video

Homeschoolers are persecuted across the globe. Among others, this video includes the Johansson family.

Dec 15, 2010

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

URGENT ACTION NEEDED:

Dear friends and supporters of Domenic Johansson,


As you might have heard and/or read, Domenic’s father, Christer Johansson, is in prison awaiting trial on the 20th December 2010. He was arrested after bringing Domenic home after a supervised meeting. These extremely rare meetings of 1 hour every 5 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 been denied his right to choose his own legal representative twice.

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 for 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

Gotlands tingsrätt
Box 1143
SE-621 22 Visby
SWEDEN

Or email the text to the courts with as many emails as you and your friends and family members can: gotlands.tingsratt@dom.se

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 if possible to lend more credibility to your letters/emails (or if you want to/need to stay anonymous that will be fine too). What’s important is that we get as many people to do this as possible.

SWEDISH TEXT:

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.

Vänligen, ________________________________

BELOW IS 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 THE SWEDISH TEXT and NOT the English text below. The below text is simply for your information.

Swedish text translation in English:

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 1 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.

Kindly,________________________________________________



Please read more on http://friendsofdomenic.blogspot.com/


Thank you for your support.


Blessings to all and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


--Friends of Domenic Johansson

Dec 13, 2010

Dec 9, 2010

Update on Christer - 2

Christer Johansson Denied Human Rights Attorney, Again!

While he strives to defend himself for taking Domenic home for an unapproved visit with family late last month, Christer Johansson has yet again been denied representation by an attorney specializing in human rights. Astonishingly, the public defender assigned to Christer's "criminal" case is Shantu Brambhat, the same attorney who has been representing Annie Johansson since 2009 in her fight to retrieve custody of Domenic from Gotland Social Services. 

As you might imagine, Christer hasn't much confidence in Attorney Brambhat's ability to defend his best interests, nor the best interests of his family. Therefore, Christer has requested the representation of Human Rights Attorney Tryggve Emstedt of Gävle, Sweden. Not surprisingly, Gotland's courts just today rejected Christer's request for defense by Emstedt. Hence, Brambhat will be Christer's defender whether she is capable of a worthy defense or not. It appears to us that Gotland desires no outsiders within her "halls of justice." From what we understand, formal charges will be made against Christer on December 20th. We are not sure why his date before a Gotland judge continues to change.

We've also received word that Human Rights Attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson, who is president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights (NCHR) and represents the Johanssons in their appeal against Sweden to the European Courts of Human Rights, has finally been given permission to speak with Christer while he sits behind bars. Harrold-Claesson was removed from the Johansson's Swedish case against Gotland Social Services last spring after Eva Ernstson, the court appointed "representative" for Domenic, complained to the courts about Harrold-Claesson's involvement on the case.  Emstedt is also associated with the NCHR.

For those of you new to the Johansson family's battle with Sweden, go here to learn how it all began.

For those who may not know, Christer is a very talented and avid photographer. His work stands as a testimony to his artistic eye and  sensitivity to beauty. Before Domenic was stolen from Annie and Christer's care, they were cultivating within him a special appreciation for the natural things of this world. You can enjoy some of Christer's photography work by visiting his archive here.


 Below is a photo, snapped by Christer, of Domenic enjoying early spring flowers shortly before he was stolen by social services.

 



Dec 7, 2010

Update on Christer

Update on Christer's Situation/Contact Information

To the best of our knowledge, Sweden continues to hold this father in jail. The original information we received said he'd have some sort of trial on December 10th. However, we are now learning that the trial can be held as late as December 14th or 15th and it seems this might be the case. 

Sweden will NOT take Christer to trial until they have a psychiatric finding assigned to him. This is typical in child dispute cases such as these. Most parents who object to what has happened to their family are almost universally given a psychiatric diagnosis to which the socials can subsequently point claiming they were right all a long for taking and keeping the child. We've read this script over and over in many cases such as these in Sweden. You can dig through this huge pile of documented cases to learn more. 

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, although one of Christer's attorneys in the EU Human Rights case, has been denied access to Christer while he is in jail. The Swedish authorities claim the EU case has nothing whatever to do with Christer's actions of two weeks ago. We, and many others, beg to differ. We believe Christer's current incarceration has everything to do with the merits of the EU case and thus, Harrold-Claesson should have access to Christer while he is jailed.

Aside from what we've shared in this post, we are not aware of any further developments at this time. 

If you'd like to send notes and letters of encouragement to Christer (he is fluent in English) while he is held in prison, you can do so by following these instructions:

First, place your letter/postcard in an envelope. On that envelope write: 

                          To Christer Johansson, 690615-3231

Next, place this envelope into another envelope and on this outer envelope write this address: 

                          Kriminalvården
                          Klient och säkerhetsenheten
                          SE–601 80 Norrköping
                          SWEDEN

Once received, Kriminalvården will send your letter to Gotland and will see that it is delivered to Christer.

Annie (holds a Masters Degree in English) can be contacted at: 

                         Annie Johansson
                         c/o Rune Johansson
                         Alva Gudings 363
                         623 46 Hemse
                         Sweden

Nov 29, 2010

Distraught

Distraught father takes son home

A boy and his father during state supervised visit July 2010.
After a year-and-a-half of disappointing court cases and state-supervised one hour visits once every five weeks with his only child, an understandably distraught father accused of no crimes against his son, took his 9 year old son, Domenic, home for an extended visit with family on Monday, November 22nd. Christer Johansson had no apparent motive other than to have more time with his son and to allow Domenic's grandparents, who had not seen their grandson in nearly a year-and-a-half, a chance to see their grandchild. On Wednesday, November 24th, Christer telephoned Alva police to inform them he and Domenic could be found at home.

Unfortunately, this visit was not approved by Gotland Social Services. This is the same social services department who took Domenic off of a plane and have held him for a year-and-a-half only allowing the parents to see their only son for 1 hour every 5 weeks. After such inhuman treatment, treatment that some might even call psychological torture, Mr. Johansson now finds himself behind bars with Domenic back in state custody. Eerily similar to what happened on the plane in June of 2009, armed police swept into the Johansson home, and dragged Domenic from his parents and grandparents. He is reported to have cried over and over, "I don't want to go back! I don't want to go back!" into foster care.

This latest event in the ongoing Johansson saga began last Monday when Chirster walked out of a state supervised visit taking Domenic with him. Domenic went happily home with his father. Since the time that armed police seized the boy 18 months ago from an India bound jetliner just moments before take-off,  Domenic has pleaded with his parents to go home. However, the Johanssons have been ordered by social services to ignore their son's pleas, and to act as if they do not want him home. 

Last Monday, Christer Johansson could ignore his son’s pleas no longer. This family has suffered so much and now the Swedish authorities plan to try Mr. Johansson for taking his own son home.  Christer was arrested Wednesday night and he was arraigned and remanded in custody on Friday. He is being held "on suspicion of unlawful detention," alternatively "heavy-handedness with a child." According to Chapter 4 section 2 of the Criminal Code, this is punishable with prison for a minimum of one and maximum of ten years. Removing a child under fifteen years from the social services can constitute a crime against freedom or the promotion of escape and is punishable with fines or a prison sentence of up to one year. Christer will be prosecuted within two weeks during which time he will be subjected to a mental evaluation. Yet, during the visit Domenic was not harmed in anyway and did not want to leave his parent’s custody.


Before Christer telephoned police on Wednesday, Domenic shared a wonderful day-and-a-half with his parents and elderly grandparents. According to his uncle, Domenic was thrilled to be home and did not want to go back into foster care. In response to Christer's telephone call to police, several squad cars descended upon the Johansson home and armed police swept in, dragging Domenic out into the unseasonably frigid temperatures without giving him an opportunity to take his coat.


The struggle between the Johansson family and Gotland Social Services began in the fall of 2008 when the family chose to home school then 7 year old Domenic. Their choice to home school Domenic was predicated on the fact that the family was planning to move back to India, where Christer and Annie had met and married in 2000. Annie is a native of India. The family was living temporarily in Sweden, Christer's native homeland, with plans to return to India in 2009. Home schooling seemed the most logical choice for the family, as Domenic's parents desired to keep disruption of his education to a minimum as the family emigrated back to India.

Domenic on the boat to Stockholm, his last hours of freedom.
Home schooling was a legal option in Sweden at the time Domenic was taken into state custody, but has since been greatly restricted when the controlling Swedish Liberal Alliance passed into law a 1500 page education bill which threatens parents with fines up to $3000 dollars and loss of custody of their children, should they attempt, or continue, to home school, unless granted permission under "extraordinary circumstances."

When the Johanssons contacted their local school administrator, they were met with resistance. The school administrator threatened the family with social services contact if they did not enroll Domenic in school. Even while still legal in Sweden at the time, many people in positions of governmental power and authority are against the practice of home schooling. The Johanssons decided to stand their legal ground in spite of the school official's threats which unfortunately triggered a nightmare for Domenic and his family. While under tremendous pressure by social services to enroll their son in school, Domenic's mother, who holds a Masters Degree in English, continued to educate their son at home through the 2008-2009 school year. 


Looking on as police storm plane moments before he's taken.
On June 25, 2009, Domenic excitedly boarded an India bound jetliner in Stockholm with his parents. Just moments before take-off and at the behest of Swedish social services, armed uniformed police stormed the plane and forcibly removed the Johansson family. That was the last time the Johanssons saw Domenic before he was forced into foster care. 

To learn more about the Johanssons and their struggle to bring their son back home, feel free to browse the numerous stories published on this blog. 

To learn more about Sweden's heavy-handed HVB and LVU laws, the laws used to govern forced treatment and forced foster care, and how they adversely impact her citizens and families, a book and video series have been authored by Daniel Hammarberg. Hammarberg, now in his mid-30s, as a teen was forced into Sweden's state care until he attained the age of 21. In direct response to his experiences with Swedish social services, Hammarberg has studied and written about the ever increasing role Swedish government is playing in the intimate lives of it's citizens. In his book The Madhouse: A Critical Study of Swedish Society, Hammarberg covers diverse segments of Swedish society, including HBV and LVU. In his 25 part video series The Socialist Utopia, Hammarberg painstakingly details the rise and devastating results of socialism in Sweden. Hammarberg has also authored a video on the LVU law, the law used to regulate foster care in Sweden which clearly demonstrates the trap of hopelessness in which parents and children find themselves once social services becomes involved in their lives. As Elin, the desperate 13 year old, penned in a Swedish orphanage just hours before taking her own life, My life is ruined, thanks to the Linköping social services. The only thing they do is destroy other people's lives, so stay away from them. If your parents need help, just tell them to ignore getting help, because that's the safest.

Nov 23, 2010

A Series of Excerpts Examining Outcomes of Swedish LVU Laws

This is the first in a series of excerpts we will share from Daniel Hammarberg's book: The Madhouse: A Critical Study of Swedish Society Mr. Hammarberg writes from first-hand experience with Sweden's LVU laws as executed by Swedish Social Services "for his good" while he was young. In direct response to his experience, Mr. Hammarberg has taken a close look at the ever increasing role Swedish government is playing within the intimate lives of it's citizens. In his book, Mr. Hammarberg has concluded Sweden, in many ways, has become a madhouse. While his book covers many diverse subjects and segments of Swedish society, the excerpts we will examine are specific to Sweden's LVU law. This first excerpt begins with Mr. Hammarberg's introduction to the LVU section of the book, followed by the harrowing story of Elin. All Elin ever wanted, as written in her diary, "was allowed to return home to mom." Links to media stories regarding Elin can be found at the end of today's entry. Will the reality of the lives of the unfortunate children we will examine over the next few weeks one day become Domenic's reality? While Sweden is bent on retaining it's tight grip on Domenic, we pray his story might have a much happier ending.

Suicides as a consequence of institution placement

By Daniel Hammarberg, human rights activist and author of The Madhouse: A critical study of Swedish society

In most of the Western world, the idea of placing children into orphanages takes people back to the time of Charles Dickens' early 19th century London. Not so in Sweden, where in 2010, orphanages are seen as an essential part of the arsenal the government has at its disposal for coming to the rescue of "vulnerable children." Yet the question is - are these children vulnerable because of their environment, or due to living under a government that wants to care for them? I'm personally more inclined to suggest the latter.

Troubling statistics concerning the mental wellbeing among the growing generation in Sweden today do indeed exist. During the summer of 2009, Gothenburg newspaper Göteborgs-Posten had conducted a survey sent to all ninth-graders in this metropolis, where they found that one in five girls had already at that age inflicted harm on themselves - what's commonly described as self-cutting. As can be expected, Swedish society has extensive public facilities available for helping these troubled children, but can the government really offer anything of value to them? Can these vulnerable children find proper support from taxpayer-financed counsellors and staff? These coming vignettes will have you thinking otherwise; the common theme among all of them is that the children ended up at modern Swedish orphanages, what's called HVB-hem or HVB homes, from its acronym. Hem för vård och boende, "homes for care and living."


Elin, begging for mercy, dead at 13

In her youth, a woman named Susanne had suffered a traffic accident and was left disabled - moving around on a walking frame, with a disability pension already at age 20 from not being able to work. The next couple of years, she has three children - two daughters and a son. The first years of the lives of these children would be very happy, though soon the father disappears from the picture and the mother is overwhelmed by the burden of raising her family with her disability. 

When her middle child, Elin, born in 1994, is six years old, the social services becomes involved in family life and Elin is relocated to a foster family, something Susanne agrees to since she admits she's not capable of being a mother at this point in time. Elin isn't treated very well by this new family, however, becoming the target of frequent insults thrown at her by her foster parents. She attempts to get the social services to listen to her when she tells them that everything isn't alright, but they don't give her the time of day, in spite of Elin showing up for school malnourished and with discarded clothes. According to her records with the social services, everything is just fine with the placement.

After a couple of years, Susanne starts feeling she's fit to take over parenting again, and Elin also has a great desire to return to her mother, but the social services isn't very interested in interrupting the placement - it's gone from entirely voluntary to thinly veiled coercion. Eventually, when Elin is twelve years old, the authorities launch a new investigation, and both Elin and Susanne want to be reunited. 

The social services has other plans, however, deciding to place Elin with a new foster family. Susanne is told that if she doesn't agree to this placement, they will go through with a forced placement under the LVU law. Elin isn't happy in the new foster family and spends as much time as she can on the phone with her mother and sister. On the other hand, she's not very interested in socializing with her foster family, and when the social services learns of this, her phone is taken away from her. As she writes in her diary:
"If you hate life, you have to be able to talk to someone... And then I don't mean psychologists, but someone you can trust."
"The only thing that gets me up when I'm sad is mom and Linda. But now the social services has decided I'm only allowed to call them once a week."
"The only thing that could make me feel good was if I was allowed to return home to mom."
Elin tells the social services she's being battered in this family. She implores her caseworker not to tell her foster parents, but they are told in spite of her pleadings. At this time, Elin starts cutting her arms.
Before too long, this foster family decides they don't want Elin with them anymore, and once again Elin hopes she can be reunited with her family. This time around, the social services actually pulls out the LVU law, forcibly placing Elin at an HVB institution some 200 km away from her mother. Now it's 2008 and her short life would soon come to an end.
26 March Placed at Carl Bobergsgården as a single girl at age 13 with up to 10 boys, ages 11 to 20, most of them placed there for conduct problems.
30 March Elin is physically assaulted by one of the boys.
3 April She's assaulted again.
7 April Elin is once again badly assaulted and her wrist is radio-graphed due to a possible fracture.
10 April She runs away from the orphanage and spends the night in the nearby forest.
13 April Elin is assaulted by six older boys at the orphanage. At around 15:00, she tells the boys at the orphanage that she's going to go hang herself. Then she walks out and spends the night in the forest again, never to return.
14 April Elin is found dead hanging from a tree - an obvious suicide - 18 days after having been placed at the orphanage.

Elin had told friends at school that she was both assaulted and sexually harassed at the orphanage, but refused to tell the authorities since she knew from experience she couldn't trust them. Among other things, she was forced to 'entertain' one of the boys sexually with her hands.

Her family was not briefed on any of the fights she had been in. During the autopsy, evidence of 19 punches and kicks is found on her body, with 43 bruises. Initially, criminal charges would be filed against two of the boys, but these didn't lead to any prosecutions, since Elin was dead and couldn't testify. During police investigations, at least one of the boys pleads guilty to assault, but this didn't make any difference. The staff remained skeptical of there having been fights at all at the orphanage. "Neither I or the staff ever saw them punching each other or anything like that," one of them said.

In her room, a farewell letter is found along with her diary. As she writes during her short stay here:

"Let me go, let me run away from Boberg. Let me run off and get out, I can't take this any more."
"Please, I can't deal with this. I'll let go of my knives and fly off to heaven."
"My life is ruined, thanks to the Linköping social services."
"The only thing they do is destroy other people's lives, so stay away from them. If your parents need help, just tell them to ignore getting help, because that's the safest."
Elin had apparently intended to become a writer and was in the process of composing a memoir entitled My Sad Life, but this life became simply too much for her to bear.

About a year later, during the summer of 2009, Elin's little brother Simon is allowed to return to Susanne from his foster home - now the social services feels she can take care of her children again. Alas, if only they had made that decision a little more than a year earlier...

(All of the names in this story have been replaced and are those used in mass media articles written about her case.)

The following links will take you to many news stories about Elin's tragic story. You will have to use Google Translate if you do not read Swedish.

Sveriges Radio: Om fallet Elin - "Mitt sorgliga liv"
AFTONBLADET:  Hennes dotter orkade inte leva, Elin, 13, blev slagen på hemmet – mamman fick inget veta

To read more on Elin, simply copy the following Swedish text into your net search engine: 
Carl Bobergsgården Elin

Watch this video to obtain a better understanding of the overreaching power of Sweden's LVU laws, watch this video.
 

Nov 1, 2010

Donations

While family resources come to an end, the battle for justice rages on

After 15 months of legal battles, the Johanssons have found themselves in dire financial straits. To this point, they've not accepted financial help, instead relying upon personal means and savings, as they've battled for the return of their only child, Domenic, who is now 9 years old. As you can imagine, such a battle against a government entity having endless resources has taken its toll financially, emotionally and physically on the family. As a result, the Johansson's resources have come to an end, while the battle for their son rages on. 

Help this family by using the Donate button at the top right of Domenic's blog today. While your donation is not tax deductible, 100% of the funds go directly to the Johansson family. This is a worthy cause, that of restoring family dignity, independence, justice and human rights in Sweden. When justice finally prevails for the Johansson family, the happy consequences will have potential to be felt and enjoyed around the world.

For those just learning of the case:
On June 25, 2009, armed police stormed an India bound airliner and forcibly removed then 7 year old Domenic, separating him from his parents. Their crime?  Home schooling. 


In preparation for their impending move to India, the family chose to home school Domenic in an effort to reduce disruption to his schooling as they relocated. Domenic's mother, Annie, was born and raised in India, living in Sweden with her Swedish husband, Christer, for approximately 8 years before the family finally sold all they owned and began what they thought would be a journey back to Annie's home and large, extended family.

At the time Domenic was seized by Sweden, home schooling was still legal in the country, but legislation had just been introduced in the Swedish parliament outlawing the practice, emboldening those in authority who are opposed to educational freedom. Home schooling is now illegal across the Swedish landscape and fines of $3000.00 for home schooling were just announced by the Swedish government last week.

Domenic has languished in foster care since he was forced off the India bound airliner moments before take-off. He is allowed to see his parents only one hour every five weeks and has been forced to sit in a public school classroom in Sweden, when he rightfully should be living with his parents and extended family in India. 

Ironically, Domenic's mother holds a Masters Degree in English, yet her high level of education has meant absolutely nothing to Swedish authorities. A once very close bond between father, mother and child has been forcibly destroyed by powers in Sweden purely for ideological and arbitrary reasons. To learn more about this travesty of justice, please spend time browsing this blog.

Oct 28, 2010

Guest Writer: Daniel Hammarberg


The Domenic case is far from unique
By Daniel Hammarberg, human rights activist and author of The Madhouse: A critical study of Swedish society

Since Sweden introduced barnavårdslagen, "the child welfare law," in 1924, the act which enabled the state to take children into custody without their parents' consent, quite a few Swedes have faced relocation into foster care on dubious grounds. As the supply of foster homes wasn't nearly enough to meet the new demands of the grandiose plans for solving societal ills through foster care, the state swiftly established orphanages where sometimes upwards of 30 children were brought up. In the mid 20th century, at the peak of the days of unbridled foster care, no less than one in 30 children at any given time resided in foster care - half of them in actual families, the other half in orphanages. Since then, the proportion of the total population has gone down somewhat, but these dreaded child institutions are still around, now referred to as HVB-hem - treatment homes.


Two opposite developments have taken place; on the one hand, the poverty that afflicted early 20th century Sweden was nearly eliminated during the 1950's and 60's. On the other hand, as the original reasons to take children into state custody were disappearing, social workers created new reasons to seize children. While before, children could be taken due to their parents not being able to afford their sustenance or outright physically abusing them, now questionable psychological theories on the development of children see the light of day, instead. Delusional Freudian beliefs are now used to justify separating a child from his or her family. As the legislation upon which the foster care system was based has progressed, not only is actual harm to the child used to make a case, but now also projections of psychologists on the future development of the child are heavily considered.


While the early incarnations of barnavårdslagen, "the child welfare law," were fairly specific on the grounds upon which to take a child into custody, these later developed into general clauses which in today's LVU law lets the government seize children if "... any other condition in the home" warrants it as per §2, or as far as the conduct of the child goes - "... any other socially destructive behaviour" as per §3. What is considered to meet these conditions is for the social workers as a profession to decide, and the administrative courts that try the cases rarely question the opinions of the social workers.


Any use of naked force and oppressive measures will eventually meet resistance, and in Sweden as a possible counter, we've witnessed the use of Newspeak for what was previously a blatantly controversial use of state authority. The 1924 law didn't mince words when it laid down the rules, and here children could be described as "degenerates." An orphanage was still called an orphanage, and society didn't need to disguise its aims to any noticeable degree. 

In today's society, the same public authority circulates such phrases as barnens bästa i centrum, "the best interests of the child," and similar. The government insists it's only doing what's right for the child these days, with little regard for birth family bonds which are so very critical for a growing human being, without which a person has little hope of becoming a well-adjusted adult. Children can be mercilessly torn from families where an independent observer will have little understanding for the state's actions. Perhaps "the best interests of the child" is merely Newspeak for the state's willingness to seize children from families that refuse to conform and cooperate with the state. The "care" it's felt that the children "need" is rather the oppressive measure of a covertly totalitarian state that's ensuring that society won't have to deal with functional families independent of the state, with the strength that's inherent in an intact nuclear family.

Over the years, several horror stories have emerged from the Swedish foster care system; in the 1970's, Sweden's political elite made use of girls placed at orphanages as prostitutes, some as young as 14 years old, in what was called the Geijer affair. In 1983, German magazine Der Spiegel published an extensive article entitled "Kinder-Gulag" im Sozialstaat Schweden on the state of foster care at the time, likening it to the Soviet system of Gulags. Back then, Europe still enjoyed good investigative journalism as well as a European Court of Human Rights that still had the ability to influence the way public authorities operated. Not so today, when mass media is oh so silent on the topic of foster care abuses, and the ECHR is virtually useless as an institution for the individual families to seek redress for their grievances due to being flooded with cases.


There have been other cases recently, similar to the Domenic one. During the summer of 2009, an Iranian man named Esmail and his Swedish wife Susanne, who have three children together, found these taken at the airport as they were leaving for Iran after having only made a brief stop in Sweden. An anonymous report about alleged child neglect had been made against them, and still today they've not been able to get their children back.


The future looks even more bleak. In a parliamentary bill the other year, 2008/09:So555, the Left Party of Sweden wanted to make it a crime attempting to leave Sweden with children who had legally been taken into state custody, and the authorities were going to be alerted whenever anyone with a LVU order on them attempted to leave, just like criminals. To support the bill, they quoted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the CRC. The bill was voted down, but overall when one browses the bills that have been written on the LVU law, they all have one thing in common - the call for greater jurisdiction and possibly more spending as well.


To learn more about the state of contemporary Swedish society, feel free to have a look at my new book "The Madhouse" where I cover all the things above in greater detail; for now only available as an E-book but soon to be available in print as well.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046ZS2PA


Or take a peek at my new blog at


http://www.danielhammarberg.com/

Oct 20, 2010

Swedish court ignoring family

OneNewsNow: Swedish court ignoring family
Swedish Official at European Court may be blocking potentially embarrassing Johansson Hearing 

A Swedish home-schooling family has been trying to get their son back from foster care since he was taken away by authorities more than a year ago, but an attorney for the family believes the courts have turned a deaf ear to their situation.

A judge recently upheld the decision of Swedish social service officials to keep Domenic Johansson in foster care and away from his parents. Mike Donnelly, director of international relations and staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), tells OneNewsNow Domenic's parents have argued that they are a.....read more.

Oct 6, 2010

HSLDA Analysis of Sept 2 court opinion

HSLDA: Government’s Claws Dig Deeper in Johansson Case

On September 21, 2010, Swedish Administrative Court Chief Judge Peter Freudenthal handed down his decision in the case of Domenic Johansson of Gotland, Sweden, dashing the hopes of his parents for reunification with their son, who has been kept in foster care for over one year. Dominic was seized by Swedish authorities from the plane he and his parents had boarded as they were moving to India, his mother’s home country. Authorities cited untreated cavities in the boy’s teeth, failure to vaccinate, and homeschooling as reasons for taking him into custody.


After multiple appeals, Judge Freudenthal has upheld the decision of Swedish social services officials, who are the engineers behind the case. Domenic has been kept from his parents since June 25, 2009, and has only been allowed to visit with them once every five weeks with a supervised 15-minute telephone call once every two weeks. It has become increasingly apparent that the social workers have no real intention of reuniting this family, and that they have simply transferred Domenic from the Johanssons to the foster family. Domenic is now in the public school system.


Friends, family, and a university professor of psychology testified that the Johanssons are more than capable of parenting Domenic and caring for him. Despite this testimony, and the willingness of the family to do whatever the state wants them to do, Judge Freudenthal decided to go along with the assertions of the social workers that Domenic was better off in the care of the state. Meanwhile, Freudenthal spent almost as much time discussing the fees the appointed lawyers would collect as he did explaining the rationale for the state’s continued custody of Domenic.

About six months after Sweden took him hostage, and where he remains as such today.



Ruby Harrold-Claesson, a noted international human rights lawyer and president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights (nkmr.org), represented Christer Johansson before being removed from the case on the motion of Eva Ernston, Domenic’s appointed attorney. Harrold-Claesson has developed a practice of fighting Swedish social services, a system she calls increasingly “evil.”

“Held Hostage”

“I have never in 20 years of practice seen a case more badly handled,” says Harrold-Claaesson. “This family has been so traumatized that they may never recover. The Swedish government has grossly violated this family’s human rights, both under Swedish law and under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Under the ECHR people have the right to leave their country. But in this case the social services took this poor little boy and...READ MORE

Oct 5, 2010

Guest Writer: Helen E. Lees

Yesterday we announced this blog open to guest writers who have been following the Johansson case. Today, we are happy to introduce Helen E. Lees, a graduate student at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her PhD thesis "considers what happens to the self of parents and other adults upon discovery of the possibilities of elective home education." Due to her research, she brings interesting insight to the tragic story of the Johansson family. We continue to accept articles from guest writers. Send your submissions for consideration to: returndomenic@aol.com
Domenic and the New Paradigm
By Helen E. Lees

Domenic and his father in happier times.
The case of the parents of Domenic looks as though it is an unfolding brutal tragedy of misunderstandings. This is backed up and informed by doctoral research that I have been conducting at the University of Birmingham in the UK between 2007-2010. This research highlights empirical data on the discovery of home education and other educational alternatives, suggesting that in order to understand such a lifestyle and way of seeing education and the upbringing of children, one needs to have undergone some kind of 'conversion' experience. As a result, those in favor of home education who have, it seems from my research, experienced this kind of conversion, are living in 'a different world' from people who believe in mainstream schooling.

The philosophical understanding that underpins this idea comes from Thomas S. Kuhn, who wrote 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' in 1969. Kuhn says that when people discover a new way of doing things, they change paradigm and what results is an incommensurability of understanding and communication between those in the old world/paradigm and those in the new. My research shows home education is a 'new' paradigm and also that consequently- involved in education as a field with diverse options - is the problem of incommensurability: although people are talking about essentially the same thing (education), different ways of doing things means that when people have an understanding coming from a particular paradigm or 'worldview', they cannot easily understand other people in an alternative paradigm and with another 'worldview'. It requires effort for people in the 'old' paradigm to see - literally - from the point of view of those in the 'new'.

It seems that social services have a lack of understanding and an inability to understand home education practice and choices. They are, it seems, only seeing the situation from their own point of view. My research suggests why they might be so intractable in their views with regard to Domenic being in the care of his 'alternative' parents. Kuhn also talks about the strong resistance from those in the 'old' paradigm towards those in the 'new' paradigm. If we apply this to Domenic's case, it makes some sense of the strong and continuing resistance that social services seem to have displayed against Domenic's parents: if social services give in and return Domenic, it threatens their belief that their worldview and opinions are the 'correct' ones. This is a strong and world-shattering threat that must be guarded against at all costs at the level of their personal self; although it is likely to be dressed in professional language and rationale.

In the UK, there are many examples of social services having a very weak grasp of the basic concepts of home education and seeing it, as a result, as poor education. The problem of incommensurability is a global one. Of course, home educating has been highlighted through various academic research to constitute another (personally and socially positive) way of life, so it is not just about education. It is also about lifestyle. If a mother wants to follow natural medicine practices for example (a very Indian and Vedic attitude), this is a life view. It is also a life view that is valid on its own terms. If it is seen from a medical/scientistic perspective it loses validity. From following the case of Domenic Johansson being taken and kept from his parents it strikes me forcibly that what is happening is not fact based on sound judgment, but facts based on a determination to maintain validation of a particular worldview that is not and - in a democracy - cannot be allowed to be seen as the only valid worldview.

Gotland social services do not have all the answers and are not in possession of the truth. Their worldview is not the only valid one. Their facts can be seen differently. A child has the right to be brought up in the worldview of its parents and parents have the right to bring up their child in their own worldview. Using this argument, the only clause that would substantiate violation of respect for a particular worldview or paradigm of living would be substantial and substantiated profound harm to the child. I do not see any evidence of such harm having been perpetrated against Domenic by his parents. They seem, from what I have read, heard, seen, felt and personally judged, to have a solidly loving attitude and a valid worldview.

My research backs up the Johansson's claims that the situation they are experiencing is unfair. Why is their son away from and out of their care? It doesn't make sense from any worldview, actually. Whilst this non-sense is unfolding, Domenic, of course, is changing his worldview... Domenic's parents are having to agree to change theirs. A dominance in perspective creates totalitarianism at the level of personal choice. A democracy is founded on personal choice. Adherence to a worldview - for anyone - is not secured by taking children from their parents.


Helen E. Lees
http://bham.academia.edu/HelenLees

Oct 4, 2010

Seeking Guest Bloggers

Seeking Guest Bloggers

Since it's inception more than six months ago, the Friends of Domenic Johansson blog has been written anonymously by one person, with the gracious help of a team of people volunteering behind the scenes with translations and editing. At this juncture, we would like to open the blog to other writers who are passionate about what is happening in Sweden and through it's LVU system and specifically with the Johansson family.

Guest bloggers can choose to write anonymously or use a by-line, if they prefer. Submissions made by guest bloggers will not be compensated, as this is a worldwide, volunteer effort to help Domenic return home and to help educate the world, as well as Swedes, of the dangerous pitfalls in Sweden's LVU system. If you would like to write an article for publication on the Friends of Domenic blog, or on the Swedish version, Vanner till Domenic, please contact us privately at:

returndomenic@aol.com

Thank you for your interest in Domenic's plight and for caring enough to help!

Sep 10, 2010

Going Public

Socials Not Happy Family Has Gone Public
Johanssons Ask: What Would You Do For Your Children?

While employees of Gotland Social Services cloak their deeds behind a wall of secrecy, Annie and Christer Johansson have opened their entire lives to the world for scrutiny. "We have no choice. The world must know what is happening in Sweden. We've walked through fire for our son, and will continue to do so until he is returned to us," remarked Christer Johansson, as the September 2, 2010 court hearing challenging the Social's right to keep Domenic approached. "This is how much we love our son. What would you do for your children?"

Gotland Social Services are not happy with the Johanssons for making their story public. Yet, the Johanssons believe they have no choice but to bring their plight to public awareness, as it seems abundantly clear that Gotland Social Services has absolutely no intention of returning Domenic to his parent's care.

This writer is not related to the Johanssons, as some would believe. As a matter of fact, until the Johansson's story became public, spreading across the globe into the United States, this writer had never heard of Domenic, Annie and Christer. Instead, this writer has become interested in the Johansson case because of her own children, a sibling group of 4, whom she and her husband adopted three years ago.

Our adopted children's birth father is in jail for 30 to 50 years for the crimes he perpetrated against these children. The initial goal for our children was reunification with their birth mother. She had never personally harmed her children. Instead, she neglected their needs by not protecting them from their birth father. Even so, Child Protective Services were prepared to reunite her with her children once she completed one demand: attendance of parenting classes. Their birth mother was not asked to walk through fire. She was simply asked to better equip herself by attending parenting classes prior to reunification.

Curiously, our children's birth mother attended all required parenting classes but the very last. For two years, while her children languished in foster care, birth mom provided every excuse as to why she could not finish the classes, fully knowing she needed to do so for reunification to take place. While their birth mother was not required to walk through fire, for some reason she chose not to complete the required parenting course in an effort to have her children restored to her. After two years of waiting, the children were made available for adoption and now reside with us, their new family.

Annie and Domenic, mother and son.
Reunification Never Offered 

In contrast, Annie and Christer have not been charged with any crime or neglect. They've also not been given the opportunity for reunification with Domenic. They've not been offered parenting classes as a possible means of restoration. We are certain if they were, Annie and Christer would have taken the classes expeditiously and would have been star pupils, perhaps among the best to ever pass through such classes.

Annie and Christer have stated repeatedly in court their willingness to do anything, follow any program, and agree with every suggestion from Social Services, if only their child would be restored to them. The shocking fact is: Gotland Social Services has no interest in helping the Johansson family to be reunited. The health of this family is not Social Services' goal at all.

Instead, it appears Gotland Social Services' main intention is to permanently remove Domenic from the care of his parents. Why? Of what crime have Annie and Christer been accused? They've been accused of home schooling the boy - at a time when home schooling was legal in Sweden. They've been accused of delaying or forgoing immunizations - while such a parental decision is legal in Sweden. They've been accused of neglecting two cavities in his baby (milk) teeth - yet the existence of the cavities was not known until after the Socials snatched the boy. (Incidentally, Domenic had received regular dental care in the past, thus proving his parents were not neglecting him in this area. And even had he not, has the existence of cavities in baby teeth become a crime?)

The only requirements laid upon the Johansson family by Gotland Social Services has been total and complete acquiescence to the loss of Domenic. The Johanssons have never been offered a plan for reunification.

The Johanssons refuse to acquiesce to the loss of their child. Understandably so! Domenic is their son. They've loved and tenderly cared for him his entire life. No crime was ever perpetrated against the boy by Annie and Christer, nor anyone else. The only crime this writer, and thousands of others, see is a crime perpetrated by Swedish authorities. Whether purposefully or by mistake, the separation of Domenic from his parents for the aforementioned arbitrary reasons is criminal. 

It is this writer's conclusion, and that of many others, that Annie, Christer and Domenic have fallen victim to a troubling movement in the halls of child protective services worldwide. It appears in many places the priority is not the aiding of citizens, families and children who are endangered or hurt. Instead, the priority is the forming of children according to the social engineering theories of powerful entities in government. The goal is, in fact, arbitrary power and control.

When child protective services remains centered upon their mission of actually protecting children from abusive and neglectful parents - as in the case of this writer's adopted children - children and parents are justly served. However, in the case of Domenic Johansson and - troublingly - a rising number of families across the globe, when child protective services removes a child from the home of loving and capable parents for arbitrary reasons, children and their parents are permanently traumatized, neither parent nor child is served, and the freedom of society is called into question.

Sep 1, 2010

Socials Drop Psychological Bomb One Day Before Next Court Battle Begins

Domenic Denied Birthday Wish, Again

For the second time since armed Swedish police stormed an India bound airliner and violently removed then 7 year old Domenic Johansson from his parent's custody, Gotland Social Services has refused to allow the young boy a visit with his parents for his birthday on September 9th. Last year, Domenic spent his 8th birthday in the company of strangers, as he will again this year if Social Services are allowed to continue in this ruthless vein.

Just one day before the Johanssons head back to court in their battle to secure custody of their son, Gotland Social Services has served the Johansson family yet another psychological punch by denying them a visit with Domenic for his 9th birthday next week. With plenty of time after the September 2nd court appearance to deliver their hurtful message, one wonders: Why have the Socials chosen to unveil their cruel birthday plans now?

After suffering horrific psychological trauma last summer at the hands of Swedish police and Social Service workers, Domenic was further tortured by Swedish authorities when they denied him a visit with his parents on his 8th birthday. When the Johanssons were finally able to see their son, Christer asked Domenic why he did not want to see them on his birthday. Domenic responded with dismay to his father's question. Christer went on to explain that Gotland Social Services had told them that Domenic "does not want to see you on his birthday." When Domenic heard this charge, he retorted, "That's the cruelest thing I've ever heard!" Interesting that a boy so young can discern such cruelty. It is a pity he has had to suffer so much cruelty at the hands of Gotland officials, under the guise of "protection."

You can be sure that Annie, Christer, Domenic and his elderly grandparents are devastated by this latest act of Social Services cruelty, just as they have been devastated time and again over these last 16 months. It seems as if Gotland Social Service's inhumane game of playing with the Johanssons lives will never end.  Even so, Annie and Christer must collect the strength to fight for their son once again in Gotland's LVU courts tomorrow.

Aug 11, 2010

As Their Rights Are Trampled, So Are Yours....

While Myths and Fantasies Abound, Truth Quietly Awaits Those Willing to See

An ongoing debate continues across the web regarding the validity of the Johansson Family's claim of human rights violations at the hands of Swedish Social Services. One need not look far to find assertions regarding this case; assertions rooted in myth and fantasy, yet held up as the Holy Grail for why a little boy was stripped of his basic human right to be loved and cared for by his family.

It seems people would rather remain comfortable in their suspicions than seek the truth. Many seem content to acquiesce in being part of the problem, rather than working hard to become part of the solution. Could it be the truth is simply too horrific to face? Is it just easier to believe there were valid reasons to strip this family of their rights, than to confront the insanity occurring within the borders of Sweden?

Domenic, in happier times, flourishing under his parents care.
There are two sides to every story. The Socials have their side, as do the Johanssons. As for the Social's side, the public is provided their reason for taking Domenic in an article published in the Swedish press in June 2009. (Use Google Translate if you need the article in English.) In this article Lena Celion, chair of Sweden's department of Children and Education, emphatically states it is Domenic's "right" to be enrolled in school, and it is the "municipality's duty" to force Domenic to attend Swedish public schools, even when the family had clearly communicated their intentions to leave the country and raise the boy in his mother's native land of India. Celion concludes her argument in support of removing the boy from his family by stating, "It's his right. We are doing this for the boy's sake."

The "boy's sake" and the "municipality's duty" are the reasons the Socials have publicly stated for taking Domenic, and the court documents this writer has read clearly support the Social's public claims of the boy's "right" to a public school education as cause for his removal. Yet, while many will not accept as truth the Johansson's side of the story, many of the same people also do not accept the Social's publicly stated side of the story. Why? Is it because such an abuse of power by a government entity is too difficult to believe? Is it easier to dismiss the Socials' reasons for taking the boy than it is to face the reality of their reasons?  Is it easier on the minds of the populace to turn a blind eye to the truth than to believe a child's life and rights can be destroyed for the sake of a public school education? And when we consider the Social's "concerns" for Domenic's rights, we should also consider what Domenic's answer would be if he were asked. Surely, this same little boy who is reduced to tears at the end of each state supervised visit with his parents, if asked, would beg for his right to be home with his family!

Yes, there are two sides to this story. You've just read the social's side, now consider both sides in context. You have a unique opportunity to do so because the human rights attorneys aiding the Johanssons have made legal documents available for you to read.

Domenic today, suffering under state care, with all his rights removed.
If you are one of those who does not believe the Johansson's version of the story and who also dismisses the Social's public statements, then we ask you consider the position of the attorneys defending the Johanssons. These attorneys are privileged to all court documents from both sides of the argument. Therefore, it is fair to say that these same attorneys have read all the claims made by the Socials, yet they continue to stand by the Johanssons. The fact that the attorneys have read and seen all complaints, yet have still pressed on with this case is an indication to any reasonable person that something on the Social's side is seriously amiss. All one need do to learn both sides of the story is read the appeal to the European Courts on Human Rights.

As for this writer, I will trust those who have the unique privilege to information from both sides of the story and who, after reading and legally considering all the information, continue to press forward in the effort to see Domenic restored to his family.  For as the rights of Domenic and his parents are trampled, so are yours and mine. And as their rights are restored and protected, so are yours and mine.

Jul 28, 2010

Catch 22: Cruelty at its Utmost

Excerpt from the December 2009 Court Decision analysis article

Late 2009, about 6 months after Domenic is stripped of his parents.
By December 2009, six months after their precious son was ripped from them, Christer was a man willing to cooperate fully with Visby Social Services, in an effort to restore Domenic to his family. In a sworn statement before the Chamber Courts, this father agreed to follow the entire care plan devised by the Socials for Domenic, with the exception that Domenic's care be provided while he continued to live in mandatory foster care. The Johanssons were willing to do everything and anything Social Services of Gotland demanded, so they might finally have their son restored home.

The most cruel aspect of this case is boldly recorded in the December 2009 Court decision. In a Catch 22 scenario, the Johanssons lose their son if they agree to the entire LVU care plan, which includes mandatory foster care; and the Johanssons lose their son if they agree to the entire LVU care plan, with the exception of mandatory foster care. In conclusion, the court wrote, " Question is therefore if needed care can be given voluntarily. In the care plan is, among other things, said that Domenic should be placed in a foster home which Annie Johansson and Christer Johansson have not agreed to. Chamber Court can therefore state that needed consent to needed care is not present. In such a case, the Provincial Court’s decision to give Domenic care according to LVU should stand. The appeals should therefore be denied."

In other words, the Johanssons submitted to every demand of the Social Services of Gotland. Those demands included what some would describe as a coerced court admission that they had made wrong choices for Domenic as accused by Social Services. The demands also included that the Johanssons must agree to everything in the LVU care plan, including mandatory foster care for their son. Therefore, they were damned if they submitted to all demands and damned if they did not. The maximum possible compliance was obtained from this suffering family, including denying their own natural way of life. Then, when they were in complete submission, they were denied everything.


How to understand this case?
 

Add caption
The plain and simple facts are these: A loved, fortunate and healthy child was taken without legal process from his parents for indeterminate (and faulty) ideological reasons. His family was then punished for the trauma they had experienced, and because they did not simply acquiesce in the loss of their child. There is nothing legal, nothing logical, and nothing just in this scenario. That it could happen in a modern and supposedly democratic nation defies belief. Any free citizen of good will, in any country of the world, should be concerned when a government has the power to act in this way unhindered. This case should concern all of us. All parents, all families, and all who believe in human rights and human dignity.

Read entire article here.