Moscow indignant at "ridiculous" sentence over beating of adopted Russian child

Moscow is indignant at the suspended sentence a U.S. court has passed on Matthew Sweeney for beating and abusing his adopted Russian son Daniil Krichun together with his wife Amy Sweeney.

Moscow is indignant at the suspended sentence a U.S. court has passed on Matthew Sweeney for beating and abusing his adopted Russian son Daniil Krichun together with his wife Amy Sweeney.

"Reports on the U.S. court passing a ridiculous suspended sentence [of 60 days] on Matthew John Sweeney, who together with his wife Amy Caitlin, was found guilty of systematic beating and abuse of Daniil Krichun, a Russian boy the couple had adopted in Tula in 2006, cause righteous indignation," says a commentary by Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov published on Wednesday.

"The Russian side has repeatedly called attention of its U.S. colleagues to the case, which became a matter of public knowledge in July 2012, in its correspondance with senior officials in the U.S. Department of State," Dolgov said.

"We indicated that we expected a fair investigation and an appropriately severe sentence for the culprits. That did not happen, the same as with a number of previous outrageous cases," the diplomat stressed.

"According to Bristow police findings, the Russian boy adopted by the Sweeney family was systematically beaten by his adoptive parents and eventually ran away from home," he said. The Sweeney couple was charged with mistreatment of Daniil, and "trial reports show that they made a confession," the diplomat said.

"The U.S. court sentence on Matthew John Sweeney cannot be viewed as anything other than an outrage against justice and common sense. The U.S. judiciary passed much more severe sentences on similar cases when the victim was the "native" American child," Dolgov said.

"In the opinion of experts, Amy Caitlin Sweeney also has a chance to avoid a just punishment. The court will make a decision on her case in December 2013," he said.

"We continue to hope that the U.S. authorities will take much more efficient measures to provide worthy protection of legal rights and interests of adopted Russian children. For instance, we would like to hope for more energetic cooperation of the U.S. Department of State with its Russian counterpart in this area, as required by relevant bilateral agreements," Dolgov concluded.

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