Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Prague sends diplomatic note to Oslo in Czech mother's case

ČTK |
17 July 2017

Prague, July 12 (CTK) - The Czech Foreign Ministry sent another diplomatic note to Norway today in the case of Eva Michalakova, whom Norwegian authorities stripped of parental rights to her two sons, in reaction to granting Norwegian citizenship to the elder boy, the ministry has tweeted.

The note points out that the boy remains a Czech citizen. He has now two citizenships, and consequently both international and Czech rules are valid for him, including consular protection.

"The Foreign Affairs Ministry handed over a diplomatic note to Norway via its embassy in Oslo today over the case of the Michalak brothers and granting Norwegian citizenship to the elder of them. The note points out that the boy remains a Czech citizen," the ministry said on Twitter.

The iRozhlas.cz server has written that the Czech embassy in Oslo announced to the Foreign Ministry at the end of June that Norway's immigration office informed it that Denis Michalak had received Norwegian citizenship.

In 2011, the Norwegian child welfare service Barnevernet took Denis and David, now aged 12 and 8, away from their Czech parents on suspicion of abuse, neglect and physical maltreatment. The suspicion was not proved then, but the court considered the findings serious and decided to place the boys in foster families.

In 2015, Norwegian authorities stripped the mother of her parental rights, but left the father's parental rights untouched. The mother's appeals against the decision failed and she is preparing to address the European Court of Human Rights. She did this already once, but the Strasbourg court did not accept her complaint.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the Czech Republic would support Michalakova in Strasbourg.

In the spring, Sobotka said the Czech state would try to check in what conditions the Michalak brothers stay in Norway with foster parents and ask the Norwegian authorities for ensuring that the boys have links to the Czech environment and that they learn Czech.

Michalakova's supporters and lawyers say she was stripped of her parental rights because she talked about her case to Czech media. CRo wrote previously that the Norwegian court concluded that the mother used media at the expense of the privacy of her sons.

Norwegian institutions do not comment on the case and information has only been provided by Michalakova's supporters.

Some media and experts say it is impossible to form a clear opinion based on the stance of only one side to the dispute.

The Norwegian embassy in Prague previously wrote on its website that Norwegian institutions cannot react to incorrect claims because of their pledge of confidentiality and with respect to the protection of the boys' privacy.

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