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