Finnish courts back seizure of children from Zavgorodnyaya

The Helsinki Administrative Court and the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court have backed the decision made by the Finnish social services to seize four children from Russian citizen Anastasiya Zavgorodnyaya.

"The court decisions were made in Anastasiya's absence," Finnish human rights activist Johan Backman said on Wednesday.

"The children are being fed poorly in the shelter, they are sick, and daughter Veronika is being beaten," he said.

Backman also said that "shelter employees are being rude and constantly provoke Nastya. She is normally allowed a one hour meeting with her children a week, but there is no schedule of these meetings and every meeting is scheduled separately," he said.

In early October, the Finnish child protective services seized four children, including a baby that was a mere five days old, from Anastasiya Zavgorodnyaya, who lives in Finland, citing violence in the family. Zavgorodnyaya was allowed to stay in a special facility and then at home with her newborn under the child protective services' supervision after the Russian Embassy in Finland intervened in the situation.

On November 15, the Finnish child protective services seized the children again, accusing Zavgorodnyaya of not observing her rehabilitation program. On December 13, she was allowed to live with her children and husband in the Kuusisto family shelter in Tikkurila near Helsinki.

On December 20, the children were placed in a different facility and the child protective services again prohibited Anastasiya from meeting with them, saying she had failed to follow her rehabilitation program.

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