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Cavalry arrives for beleaguered homeschool family
Top human rights expert to argue for return of abducted 7-year-old
A top human rights expert who also is accomplished in Swedish law has been assigned to help a homeschool family whose 7-year-old son was taken into custody by police and has been detained by social services agents in Sweden for almost a year.
The startling assignment by Swedish courts of attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson to the case of Christer and Annie Johansson came only days after WND reported on a campaign by the Home School Legal Defense Association for homeschoolers and others worldwide to contact Swedish authorities about the case.
The Johansson’s son, Dominic, was apprehended last year by police on a jetliner as the family awaited departure on a planned move to India, Annie’s home country. There were no charges against the family or allegations of criminal activity.
Local education officials and social workers object to the family’s choice to provide a homeschooling education for their son, even though the activity technically remains legal in Sweden.
The latest development came after a hearing between the parents and social workers over Dominic’s status was canceled. The boys parents are allowed a short visit once every five weeks.
Court officials picked a local attorney to represent the family, but Christer Johansson rejected him out of hand, and the court, in a move that surprised advocates for the family, appointed the nationally known human rights leader. Harrold-Claesson is president of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights.
Born in Jamaica, she married Hakan Claesson and settled in Sweden, where she specializes in cases in which children have been taken by state or other governmental officials.
Annie and Dominic Johansson
“The lawyer is a real freedom fighter,” Michael Donnelly, an executive with the HSDLA, told WND. “She goes toe-to-toe over this issue. She’s a fighter for the family in Sweden.”
She has studied law and political science in France and has done post-graduate studies in legal history and her law degree in Sweden. She has presented several cases of human rights breaches to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
Donnelly said because of Harrold-Claesson’s successful activism she’s looked on with suspicion by authorities and social services agencies, which is why the appointment was surprising.
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