Russian presidential children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has called the Finnish authorities' decision to seize four children from Russian citizen Anastasiya Zavgorodnyaya inhumane.
"Drastic diplomatic and economic steps need to be taken to protect Russian families and children in Finland. Anastasiya [Zavgorodnyaya] and her husband will have to fight for their children. Such inhumane decisions made by the Finnish justice bodies should be evaluated by the European Court of Human Rights. All statements by Finnish politicians on care and support for Russian-language families and children are reduced to nothing by such actions," Astakhov's press service reported.
The press service reported that Astakhov is closely following the situation with the Zavgorodnyaya family and is in close contact with her.
"Persistence, clear legal arguments, and consistency in the protection of children are yielding positive results. The creation of bilateral commissions is not a tribute to fashion, but another bureaucratic system, but a necessary step in the development of constructive dialogue. We already have positive experience of using such structures, for example, with France," Astakhov 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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