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March 24, 2015

Help the Johansson Family Renew Their Case

Originally Seized for being Homeschooled, Son has been Held by State Since 2009


Mike Donnelly
Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly is director of international affairs for HSLDA. He and his wife homeschool.

Christer and Annie Johansson haven’t seen their son Domenic, now 12 years old, since November 2010. They recently contacted HSLDA to spread the news that they are asking all of their supporters to contact the Swedish court that will hear their new case on Thursday, March 26.

This family’s battle has been long, hard, and painfully disappointing. After 7-year-old Domenic was initially seized in June 2009, a Swedish appeals court permanently transferred custody of Domenic to a third-party custodian and terminated Christer and Annie’s parental rights in December 2012.

The transfer occurred after more than three years of constant court battles at the various levels of the Swedish court system. HSLDA, together with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has petitioned the European Court of Human Rights twice on behalf of the family, yet the court found the application inadmissible in 2012 and again in 2015.

Team of Advocates

The family will go back to court on March 26, having opened a new case into the matter. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, noted human rights attorney and president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, continues to be a relentless advocate for Christer, Annie, and Domenic. Roger Kiska, senior counsel for ADF Global, will also be present to testify on the family’s behalf.

Mike Donnelly, HSLDA director of global outreach, continues to coordinate support for the family and remains in close contact with Christer and Annie.

“What has happened in the Johansson’s situation is a horrible violation of family rights and every family’s worst nightmare,” relates Donnelly. “It is far beyond time that the Swedish courts realize they cannot separate a child from his parents simply due to the mistaken assumptions of a social worker. Many of you have prayed for and supported the Johansson family over the past five years. Please advocate once again on their behalf and help send a message to the judge that they are not alone.”

Please take a moment to contact the Swedish judge who will hear the case next week. Email contact is preferred; however phone calls or letters are acceptable. If you do send an email, you will receive an automated reply from the “Gotlands tingsrätt” in the Swedish language acknowledging your email. We have included suggested text below that you are welcome to use and adjust. Please also consider forwarding this to others.

Contact Information

Judge Göran Söderström
Gotlands tingsrätt (Gotland District Court)
Email: goran.soderstrom@dom.se and gotlands.tingsratt@dom.se
Phone: +46 498 - 28 14 00
Fax: +46 498 - 27 97 59

Please reference case “nr T 611-13”

Suggested Text

Attn: Judge appointed to case nr T 611-13

Dear Judge,

I am writing to you concerning case nr T 611-13 regarding 12-year-old Domenic Johansson who has been separated from his parents Christer and Annie since June 2009. Please hear the family’s case and rule in favor of restoring custody of Domenic to Christer and Annie.

The boy and his parents were on board a jetliner departing Sweden for Annie’s home country of India when seven-year-old Domenic was seized in June 2009. The reason initially given for taking Domenic was that he had been homeschooled. During subsequent medical evaluations Domenic was found to have missed some vaccinations and “had cavities” in his teeth. In previous court cases, these issues were found to be resolved. Expert testimony from professionals, family, and friends show that Christer and Annie are loving parents who appropriately cared and provided for their son.

The family must be respected as an integral unit of any democratic society. Please right this tragic situation by hearing case nr T 611-13 and showing justice.

Sincerely,
[Your name] [Country]

For more history on this case, please visit our Johansson resource page.

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