Finnish human rights activist intends to send Zavgorodnyaya case to European Court of Human Rights

Finnish human rights activist Johan Backman intends to send the case involving Russian citizen Anastasiya Zavgorodnyaya to the European Court of Human Rights in the nearest future.

Backman told Interfax on Thursday that he is especially concerned about the fact that the situation with Zavgorodnyaya is not an exception in the Finnish juvenile justice system, but reflects the current legal system in Finland.

"There is no separation of powers in the juvenile justice system: one woman, a social services worker, makes the rules, makes decisions to seize children, and carries out these decisions. Thus, legislative, judicial, and executive administration is exercised by one and the same person. That leads to arbitrariness," Backman said.

"Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya, who is now in a special facility in Finland, said on Thursday that her baby and daughter are ill," Backman said.

"The baby is ill, has a fever, is crying, and has stomach pains because he was fed baby formula. There is some inflammation too, and the doctors have recommended antibiotics. Her daughter Veronika, who is in a different facility, is also ill," Backman said, citing human rights activist Yevgeniya Hilden-Jarvenpera, who is monitoring the situation.

In early October, social security services seized Zavgorodnyaya's four children, including a five-days old baby, saying the children had been abused. Zavgorodnyaya's 6-year old daughter had said at school her father had "slapped" her.

After the Russian embassy in Finland intervened in the situation, Zavgorodnyaya was allowed to stay with her newborn baby in a social services facility.

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