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?

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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.

Jul 19, 2010

Excellent article out of Sweden on how families suffer due to state policies.

English translation below

Framtidens familjepolitik

Jonas Himmelstrand om Framtidens familjepolitik

Är Sverige en familjepolitisk sovjetstat?

Rubriken antyder att denna artikel har ett obehagligt budskap. Det är riktigt, så sluta gärna att läsa redan nu om du inte vill bli upprörd. Men för mig är det ännu obehagligare att inte skriva den. Människan måste uttrycka sin sanning, annars blir hon sjuk. Här är den sanning som jag upplevde vid ett besök på Kanadas västkust i månadsskiftet april-maj i år.

 Jag berättar, och en kvinna får tårar i ögonen. Hon är inte ensam, jag ser flera fuktiga ögon. Jag ger en presentation på en skol- och familjekonferens med ett 20-tal psykologer och familjerådgivare i Kanada, Nordamerikas mest europeiserade land. Likt USA? Nej, kanadensarna protesterar mot att jämföras med sin mäktige granne i söder med ungefär samma avoghet som en del svenskar känner gentemot USA. En pensionerad psykolog från provinsen Alberta berättar om det kanadensiska inlandsklimatet, om snön som kommer i oktober och kan ligga kvar till april. Flygplatsen i Vancouver, där jag har landat, är i europeisk stil, klart annorlunda än Chicago O'Hare där jag mellanlandade. Det är lätt att få kontakt med kanadensarna, de är både öppna och uttrycksfulla.

Varför tåras psykologernas ögon? Jo, jag har blivit ombedd att under 15 minuter berätta om barns och familjers situation i Sverige...Read more in Swedish.
Use this link:

The future of family policy

Jonas Himmelstrand for future family policy

Sweden is a family political Soviet state?

The title suggests that this article has an unpleasant message. It is true, so please stop reading now if you do not want to be upset. But for me it's even more unpleasant to not write it. Man must express its truth, otherwise he becomes ill. This is the truth that I experienced on a visit to Canada's west coast in late April to May this year.

I speak, and a woman is in tears. She is not alone, I see many moist eyes. I give a presentation at a school and a family conference with some 20 psychologists and family counselors in Canada, North America, most European countries.  Like the U.S.?  No, the Canadians are protesting against, compared with its powerful neighbor to the south with approximately the same resentment that some Swedes familiar with the U.S.  A retired psychologist from Alberta tells of the Canadian continental climate, the snow coming in October and can remain until April. The airport in Vancouver, where I have landed, is in European style, very different from Chicago's O'Hare, where I made a stopover. It is easy to get in touch with Canadians, they are both open and expressive.
Why tears in the eyes of a psychologist? Well, I've been asked that for 15 minutes to tell you about children and families in Sweden....Read more in English.

Jul 12, 2010

Court date pushed to September 2nd

Swedish courts have agreed to postpone the next Johansson court hearing until September 2nd, providing the family and their choice counsel more time to successfully appeal the mid-June decision removing from the case the highly respected human rights lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson, president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights.  The date for the new series of court challenges was originally fast-tracked and scheduled to be heard July 13 in Harrold-Claesson's absence.

As Friends of Domenic Johansson reported last month, Swedish courts banished Harrold-Claesson from the case after Domenic's appointed public "defender" (a position appointed by the court to represent the state) complained to the courts about Harrold-Claesson's participation. President of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, Harrold-Claesson is a widely known and respected advocate for families in custody disputes with child protective services, and has won many such cases in Sweden, restoring dozens of children to the rightful arms of loving parents. She has since filed an appeal to her court ordered removal.

This new case, challenging the "keeping" of Domenic, was filed on behalf of the Johanssons by Harrold-Claesson just days before she was banished. The previous series of cases challenged the initial "taking" of Domenic. In those series of suits, the Johanssons were "represented" by court appointed counsel, resulting in Domenic's continued separation from his parents. It is for this very reason Christer Johansson has dismissed the original court appointed counsel and sought the hard-hitting Harrold-Claesson to represent him. 

June 25, 2010 marked the one-year anniversary of the violent seizure of the then 7-year-old child. So traumatized was Domenic by the acts of armed police on behalf of the Visby Social Services board, witnesses tell us he vomited during and shortly after the shocking scene when uniformed Swedish police stormed an India bound jetliner just moments before take off. We are told the boy's mother, Annie, collapsed during the assault. The family was emigrating to India, Annie's home country. 

By the end of 2009, the Johanssons had lost all their court appeals challenging the "taking" of their only child. In the December 2009 Chamber Court decision, the court sites as justification the fact that Domenic was home schooled (at the time legal in Sweden), that his parents chose to delay or forgo immunizations (also legal in Sweden) and that the boy had two cavities in his baby teeth.

Annie is a native of India. She emigrated with Christer to his native country of Sweden in 2001 after an earth quake hit India and the couple lost everything they owned in an attempt to start a small travel agency. At the time of the quake, Annie was pregnant with Domenic. The couple always planned to return to India where Annie's large family resides, and were finally doing so the day Domenic was seized.