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November 20, 2015

Struck Down but not (yet) Destroyed
Hopeless yet not Abandoned

Help the Johansson Family Renew Their Case

Help the Johanssons: Contact Swedish Officials

Feel free to use the letter below as a sample and customize it or send your own message to the court.

Contact Information
Högsta domstolen
(Swedish Supreme Court)

Please reference case “ Ö 4373–15”

Suggested Text

Attn: Högsta domstolen

Dear Justices of the Swedish Supreme Court,

I am writing to you concerning case Ö 4373–15 regarding Domenic Johansson, who has been separated from his parents, Christer and Annie, since June 2009.

This case involves a terrible injustice. I am asking that in the interests of humanity you grant the family’s appeal and give them the chance to recover the family that Swedish social authorities have wrongfully harmed—almost to the point of total destruction.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights recognizes the family as the fundamental group unit of society and entitled to protection of (and from) the state. As a country that says it supports democracy and human rights, please take notice of this this tragic situation by hearing case Ö 4373–15 and showing justice.

[Your name], [Country]

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

Christer and Annie Johansson haven’t seen their son Domenic, now 14 years old, since November 2010. HSLDA has been working with the family to correct this terrible injustice—and now we are asking for your help in what may be their last hope and appeal to ever be reunited with their son.

Imagine—living just miles from your child but being prevented by government authorities from seeing him at all—for years. This is the tragic story of the Johansson family, who were homeschooling in Sweden when they decided to move to India, Annie Johansson’s home country. The three of them were seated on a jetliner in June 2009 when, moments before takeoff, police and social workers boarded the plane and seized Domenic.

Authorities initially said they took the boy because the family had been homeschooling. Later they said the parents had neglected Domenic by failing to keep his vaccinations up to date and to have cavities in his teeth filled. Even if these allegations were true, is it reasonable to permanently break up the family over this?

Annie and Christer were permitted sparse visits during the first few months after Domenic was taken and have fought vigorously to regain custody of their son and to remain in contact with him. However, since November 2010 they have been refused even the most basic right—to have any contact at all with their son. In December 2012, after years of legal challenges, a Swedish appeals court ordered the guardianship of Domenic transferred to an appointed third party, effectively terminating Christer and Annie’s parental rights. The European Court of Human Rights has rejected previous appeals as well.

Final Appeal

The Johanssons have clung to a tenuous thread of hope that somehow their family might be reunited. And now the family have filed what may be their last legal challenge to the state’s actions. Ruby Harrold–Claesson, a noted human rights attorney and president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, filed the appeal in early November with the Swedish Supreme Court. Alliance Defending Freedom Europe and HSLDA have both been involved in supporting the family’s legal proceedings.

“This is a tragic case. Unfortunately, it’s not the only one I’ve dealt with in Sweden, but it is very tragic,” Harrold–Claesson said. “Our previous victory in a lower court was so diametrically opposed to the appeals court’s ruling that this appeal should be heard. The Swedish court culture is vicious to families who are caught in it. I’m doing all I can for this family, but it is very difficult.”

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

“The Johansson case represents every parent’s worst nightmare,” Donnelly said. “Domenic should have been returned to his parents years ago, but the Swedish social services machine is pitiless and unrelenting. I can’t even imagine the pain and suffering this family has endured. HSLDA and our allies at ADF are committed to helping this family, but the outcome is doubtful absent a miracle. “Even if we win, the damage done to this family by the Swedish state is unimaginable. We need our friends to pray and show solidarity with the Johanssons as we try to get the attention of the Swedish court.”

HSLDA is asking homeschooling families and concerned citizens to help the family by asking the Supreme Court to correct this terrible injustice. The court gets thousands of appeals, and we hope that this effort might help bring it to the attention of the court.

Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

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