Christer and Annie Johansson state that they are elated after a district court recently ruled against Swedish Social Services in an attempt to permanently remove all rights for the couple to see their son Domenic. In a 23-page decision, the court declared that it could not ignore the fact that everyone who had testified about the Johansson’s care of Domenic showed that the family was doing just fine before he was removed from the home.
Domenic was abducted by government officials in 2009 while the family was boarding a plane to move to Annie’s homeland of India. He was only seven years old at the time, and social services state that they removed the child because he was being homeschooled by his parents.
The Johanssons were only allowed to see their son for one hour every five weeks. He was placed in foster care and forced to attend public school.
Domenic’s parents have been represented by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
“HSLDA and the Alliance Defense Fund have been supporting them since Swedish officials took their child – a grotesque abuse of their human rights. Dominic has not been returned home yet, but we have every hope that he will be soon,” stated Michael Donnelly of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
“After three years of separation we hope that Swedish officials will take prompt action to restore this family in light of this favorable court decision,” said Roger Kiska of ADF. “The Johanssons’ rights under the European Court of Human Rights have been horribly violated. We hope that the ECHR will reconsider its rejection of this application in light of these circumstances and see that justice is done.”
Last December, Domenic’s parents asked a family court to review the ruling that ordered their son to be placed in foster care. However, no decision has been released to date.
Therefore, attorneys for the Johansson’s state that they will now move to have Domenic returned to his parents.
“Based on the information in this verdict, there can be no justification for keeping this family apart,” attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson asserted.
“It feels pretty good to win,” stated Dominic’s father, Christer. “The social authorities have been running around winning for the last three years. It was pretty important that we won this because, if we didn’t, we would have permanently lost our only child. There is something very wrong with people who would keep a family separated this long for no legitimate reason.”
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is encouraging those who wish to support the Johanssons to contact Sweedish Social Services and request that their son be released from government custody.