7 June 2017
Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Norwegian Supreme Court judgment: A father is to go to jail for 5 months for having kept his daughter away from the cps Barnevernet's care
The judgment is from 16 May 2017. Four judges voted for 5 months of jail, one for a reduced sentence of 60 days.
From the contents (translations are mine, MHS):
I perioden fra mandag 13. april 2015 til og med tirsdag 28. april 2015, i X i Norge og i Y i Sverige, etter forutgående planlegging fikk han sin datter B, født 00.00.1999, til å rømme fra Z barneverninstitusjon og ta buss og tog for å komme til han. Han tok henne så med til en campingvogn i Sverige og unndro henne således fra barnevernet, som hadde tatt over omsorgen for henne ved vedtak av 13. mars 2015 fra Fylkesnemnda for barnevern og sosiale saker i Buskerud og Vestfold. Forholdet opphørte når svensk politi fant dem og pågrep han."
In the period from Monday 13 April 2015 to and including Tuesday 28 April 2015, in X in Norway and Y in Sweden, he after previous planning got his daughter B, born 00.00.1999, to escape from Z child protection institution and take a bus and train to come to him. He then took her with him to a camping trailer in Sweden and thereby withheld her from Barnevernet, which had taken over the care for her by decision of 13 March 2015 from the County Board for child protection and social matters in Buskerud and Vestfold counties. The evasion ceased when Swedish police found them and arrested him.)
The daughter was 16 years old. She had fled the institution without assistance, but had been urged to do so by the father. The fact that she had not been "abducted" but had left on her own initiative, did not lead to a milder assessment of the father's crime by the court:
"(20) Det fremgår av sitatet at selv om datteren selv forlot barneverninstitusjonen ‒ det dreier seg ikke om en bortføring i vanlig forstand ‒ var det etter gjentatte oppfordringer fra faren. Selv visste hun ikke riktig hva hun helst ville ‒ bli på institusjonen eller dra til faren. Denne "frivilligheten" kan da ikke tillegges nevneverdig vekt som formildende omstendighet."
(The quoted statement shows that even though the daughter herself left the child protection indtitution – it is not a case of an abduction in the usual sense – she did so after repeated requests from her father. She herself did not altogether know what she preferred – stay at the institution or go to her father. This "voluntariness" can therefore not be given any appreciable weight as an extenuating circumstance.)
"(21) Det samme gjelder hennes alder. Rett nok ville forholdet ha vært verre om datteren hadde vært yngre, men slik situasjonen var, har jeg vanskelig for å se datterens alder som en egentlig formildende omstendighet."
(The same goes for her age. Certainly the action would have been worse if the daughter had been younger, but in the actual situation, I have difficulties in considering the daughter's age as a properly extenuating circulstance.)
"(23) Faren er også dømt for overtredelse av straffeloven 1902 § 390a, fredskrenkelse overfor datteren, ved at han i perioden mai til juli 2015 kjørte rundt i datterens lokalmiljø der hun hadde bodd og gått på skole, med en bil dekket av bilder av henne med ulike tekster som "slipp min datter ut av sitt fengsel!". Videre la han ut bilder av dette på sosiale medier. Selv om budskapene i seg selv var rettet mot myndighetene, ikke datteren, oppfattet datteren dette som sterkt sjenerende. Ifølge tingrettens dom ba hun selv barnevernet ta kontakt med faren for å få ham til å slutte med dette. Farens opptreden må ha vært en ekstra belastning for et barn i en sårbar situasjon."
(The father is also found guilty of violation of criminal law of 1902 §390a, having violated the daughter's peace, by in the period May to July 2015 drove around in the daughter's local environment where she had lived and gone to school, with a car covered in pictures of her with various texts like "Let my daughter out of her prison!". He furthermore put pictures of this out on social media. Even if the messages in themselves were directed to the authorities, not to the daughter, the daughter felt this to be very embarrassing. According to the judgment from the County court, she herself asked Barnevernet to contact the father to ask him to stop doing this. The father's behaviour must have been an extra burden on a child in a vulnerable situation.)
The Supreme Court clearly interprets the case to be one of the father having harassed the daughter and more or less commanded her against her will to flee the institution and come to him. Several details in the Court's description go to this interpretation. It would have been a relief if one could be certain that this was the case. Regrettably, with Norwegian cps in the state it is – their statements of fact as well as of interpretation more often than not differing widely from those of both parents AND children – certainty of basic facts is not possible. Nor is our Supreme Court known to be at all independent of the incessant ideological propaganda of our cps-promoting authorities. Also, all Norwegian courts tend very strongly to believe in the unquestionable truth of whatever official employees say and to distrust the veracity of parents correspondingly.
New legislation has come into force slightly after the period this father and daughter were in Sweden. (This is discussed in the judgment, but is in the opinion of the Court without relevance for the outcome.) However, although the judgment is from 16 May 2017, imprisonment for fleeing with one's children from cps care is not new or without precedent. People tend to indulge in the belief that assisting escape from cps care is not really punishable, and especially taking care of them if the children themselves actively say that they want to go back to the parents. However, parents and especially others have been sentenced to jail previously for getting children out of, or assisting children to escape from, foster or institutional care (or even for trying to keep their children with them if the children have escaped on totally their own initiative and without help).
(Sonja and Rajana were "abducted" in Kongsvinger)
June 2014 – December 2015
It is a case of a Chechen father who with some help from others got his children away from a foster home and back to Chechnya (which is politically part of Russia). The father was cocksurely naïve, though, first telling Norway in a fatherly manner that he would bring the daughters back to Norway if the authorities would "promise not to do such a bad thing as taking them into care again". That of course did not make Norwegian authorities blush at all or enter into any such agreement (they never do, never give up the plan of getting escaped children back to "the best country in the world to grow up in"; growing up with one's own parents is considered unimportant in Norwegian ideology). The father has received great support from the Russian authorities, and the daughters, as far as is known, still live back in Chechnya. Later, the father himself came back, since he had a business to run here. He was immediately clapped into jail when he crossed the border.
Certainly Norwegian authorities put maximal resources into tracing escaped children and putting them back into care.
In another case, Norwegian authorities went to court in Poland and demanded that a Polish girl who had, with assistance mobilised by her parents, escaped from a cps institution in Norway and been helped back to her parents in Poland, be delivered into the hands of Norwegian Barnevernet again. They did not succeed: