Tomáš Zdechovský
member of the European Parliament

This is his letters to
Solveig Horne
other thought's he has on the Norwegian barnevernet (cps)

"As a member of the European Parliament, I am deeply worried about how Norway, in many areas under the Rule of Law and particularly in CPS cases, violates its Human Right's obligations.

I am not surprised to see hundreds of thousands of people throughout Europe and in the rest of the world, march the streets making protests against Norway's Human Rights abuses.

With other colleagues in the European Parliament, from many different countries, I have decided that these abuses must come to a final end."

Tomáš Zdechovský is a member of the European Parliament, and he confronts Solveig Horne, the Minister of Youth and Equality from Norway.
This is a public appeal on behalf of Eva Michalakova, the Bodnariu family, the family of baby Aria and others. Perhaps Romanian politicians should do the same.
Write public letters, demand meetings with Norway's government and push hard for the release of the Children confiscated unfairly by Barnevernet. .

Dear Madame Minister,

I turn to you publicly as the Member of the European Parliament and the member of the Czech Petition Committee for the support of Eva Michalakova's family. I have been helping Eva Michalakova's family over a long time to get her sons David and Denis removed in spring 2011 by the Norwegian social services in Nedre Eiker back to her care. Despite the fact that all suspicions that served as the impulse for the removal of her children have been cancelled or disproved (the report from the Police confirmed that she did not offend against her children in any way), both sons remain in foster care, and were split into two different foster families without any explanation.

I turn to you with knowing that my colleague, Mrs. Jitka Chalankova, the Member of the Czech Parliament, and Czech lawyers of Eva Michalakova have already contacted you as well.

Since the case of Eva Michalakova's children has been dragging on for five years already and still is not coming to an end, I would like to ask you personally to include this case into the group of selected cases that will be thoroughly investigated again. I am convinced that the results of such investigation will prove fatal mistakes of Barnevern officers in Nedre Eiker who acted not only in contrary to the international law for the protection of children and families but also in my opinion broke the Norwegian legislation. When reading all evidences I noticed that the behaviour of the officers in Nedre Eiker has been very specifically focused on the adoption of Eva Michalakova's children from the very beginning, and that such behaviour does not have to be necessarily motivated only by their personal aversion to her, nor by their incompetence or indolence, alternatively by their aversion to foreigners in general, but that some form of antipathy or personal relationships can play some role in the case as well. I believe that the responsible investigation of the case will bring the possibility to unite the broken family again.

 At the same time I would like to point out some statements of the Norwegian ambassador in the Czech Republic to the situation of the case. Unfortunately her words ended up in contrary to the subsequent development of the case. The Norwegian ambassador in the Czech Republic for example publicly refused the fact that the publicizing of the case could be the reason for the removal of the parental legal rights in Norway. Shortly after that, in September 2015, the regional committee in Drammen removed Eva Michalakova from parental legal rights with reference to the publicizing of the case. Eva Michalakova immediately appealed against the decision and the Norwegian ambassador publicly stated in Czech media that the court of appeals would, in the interest of the children, take place as soon as possible. In November the date of the hearing was set for February. However the hearing was adjourned only few days before the beginning. And it happened in time when whole Czech family of David and Denis had air tickets to Norway where they wanted to support Eva Michalakova and witnessed her readiness for the children's return to their own biological family. As the reason the court gave the shortage of interpreters. Such reason can be considered, given the urgency of the situation and time when the children have to stay away from their home, absolutely irrelevant. Moreover the court itself set the date of the hearing and therefore the court had enough time from November to arrange for interpreters. I suppose that the reason for the adjournment must be always very serious. And that is why I consider the lack of interpreters absolutely unforgivable amateur procedure.

 At the same time children's grandparents were again prohibited from meeting with the children because of the stress from the court hearing. An argument from last September was the stress from the beginning of the school year for a change. The children have stayed in foster families for four years already without any chance to meet their families and it is obvious that they are kept in such isolation without any information about the real interest of their family intentionally. In my opinion the fact that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is constantly violated, specifically the article stating that children have the right to be in touch with their biological families, is a big problem. .

Dear Madame Minister,

In the European Parliament I have been dealing with the issues of children being removed from their parents in Norway for more than a year already, not only in response to the case of the Czech family of Eva Michalakova. Since the number of complaints about the procedures of Barnevern addressed to the European Parliament increased, I intent to keep dealing with this issue very intensively. Last June I organized a round table meeting on this topic in the European Parliament where many Members of the European Parliament and the Norwegian ambassador were present. This topic became the subject of the meetings of the EU Legal Committee working group. I have met Norwegian diplomats many times, I have received personally representatives of the families from Norway from which their children were removed by the Norwegian social service and who were prohibited to meet their children without the explanation of the reasons, without the offer of help, without the possibility to prove their parental abilities and love to their children. I am aware of a few hundreds of such cases and I am sure it is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am sure you are aware that there have been the worldwide protests against the procedures of Barnevernet for a few months already. These protests firstly reacted especially on the case of Bodnari family from which five children were removed including one three months old breast-fed baby. I am being informed about this case in details and I am in touch with the family with the help of my co-workers. Last week I was informed that the Bodnari family got one child back. It is certainly good, but at the same time it raises a question about the logic of the decision to return one child of five, only the youngest one. Similar decisions raise repeatedly a question about the logicality of the Norwegian procedures.

I am also aware of the case of Ken Olsen and his daughter Aria who was removed from her parents right from the maternity hospital and whose parents can meet her only four times a year for two hours under the stern supervision of Barnevern. I was shocked also by another case of a Czech mother whose seriously ill few months old daughter waiting for the kidney transplant surgery was removed from her. After three months of violent separation her parents succeeded only with help of the detailed records kept by the hospital proving calculated lies of the Barnevernet officers. This case caused another huge uproar in the Czech Republic. One happy end is rising among tens of other affected families, and that is the case of the Norwegian-Slovakian couple whose fully breast-fed daughter was removed from them because of inadequate eye contact (in reality probably because of the mother's handicap - she is deaf). Despite the fact that the parents were proved right by the court and their daughter should have been returned to them, Barnevernet has not returned the girl to her family yet.

 Dear Madame Minister,

I am sure that you are fully aware of the urgency of the situation regarding Barnevern, because the steps you take in the field of the childcare are getting clearly to the improvement of the situation of families and their children. I believe that you will not forget about the rectification of the wrongs done by the officers of Barnevernet especially in some towns and localities in the past. It is not possible to only leave it as it is referring that children have already got used to their foster families, especially if there is their own loving family and parents waiting for them.

The argument that children have already got used to their foster families is absolutely unacceptable, not even from the legal point of view, but also from the human perspective. As a father of three children I can confirm that I would never reconcile myself to it. Moreover the argument is perceived exceptionally sensitively in the Czech Republic with respect to the village Lidice and its inhabitants during the World War II. As a reaction to the successful attempt on Reinhard Heydrich's life - R. Heydrich was one of the closest people of Adolf Hitler - the Nazis randomly chose one Czech village (Lidice) and not only burnt it down or murdered all men and sent all women to concentration camps but also sorted out all children. Those suited for the re-education were placed in families in Germany and those "racially unsuitable" were killed. The Nazis sent not only children from Lidice to Germany for the re-education. A book by Zdenka Bezdekova about such "re-education" of a little girl They Called Me Leni was translated into many languages including Swedish and Danish, and I am sure the book is available to Norwegian readers as well. When the war ended children returned home. Nobody even thought about leaving them in German families, even though they often got used to them and forgot speaking Czech. The Czech public perceives the destiny of Denis and David Michalak also in this terrifying context. Since Norway was until recently perceived very positively, such cases lead to the disillusion and disappointment with Norway.

I take your promise made at the end of the last year about the investigation of the mistakes made by the Norwegian social service very seriously and I would like to express you my full support in this matter and alternatively offer you my knowledge and help. I wish that the situation of children removed for no reason and placed in foster families would be solved as soon as possible. I am sure that parents of those children are fully aware of the traumas their children had to go through and are ready to cooperate with specialists and current foster families. The reason is very simple. They love their children and want to give them the love that officers of Barnevern denied them. The sooner it will happen the better, and the negative publicity Norway is getting not even in the Czech Republic but also in other European and non-European countries regarding the Barnevernet's work will fade away.

Yours sincerely,

Tomáš Zdechovský
Member of the European Parliament (EPP)