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Czech children taken from three families in Norway, group says

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Prague, Jan 20 (CTK) – The Czech petition committee in support of families whose Czech children were taken away from them in Norway has documents on three such cases, but it would not release information on the third case, unknown to the public, the committee member Pavel Hasenkopf told CTK yesterday.
“There is still one more case. There are three cases,” he said.
The committee’s spokeswoman, MP Jitka Chalankova (opposition TOP 09) handed detailed documents on the three cases to President Milos Zeman on Tuesday.
Chalankova said the most urgent task is the case of Eva Michalakova now.
In 2011, the Norwegian Child Welfare Service took both of her sons away from Michalakova over suspected child abuse that has never been proved. The boys were placed in foster families in Norway. Last year, the Norwegian authorities stripped Michalakova of her parental rights to the boys and placed the younger boy into adoption. Michalakova appealed the decision. The court proceedings are to be held in late February.
The petition committee wants the Czech state to take part in the proceedings, but the Foreign Ministry said this was not possible in Norway.
Irena Valentova, from the Foreign Ministry press section, said the Czech Republic can join the proceedings only when the case gets to the European Courts for Human Rights.
But Hasenkopf said the Strasbourg court cannot decide on the returning of the sons to the mother and it is therefore necessary to get involved in the case already now.
According to CTK’s information, the lawyers of the Foreign Ministry will again check whether the Czech Republic could join the dispute.
In late 2015, the Norwegian Child Welfare Service took a nine-month-old baby girl, who suffers from a congenital defect and is waiting for a kidney transplant, away from her parents, a Czech mother and a Norwegian father. The authorities explained the step saying that the parents have not developed their contact with the daughter enough.

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