December 22, 2009

I'm Boycotting Sweden

I'm no fan of the HSLDA but this story on their site, about a family in Sweden whose 7-year-old child was taken away simply because the parents chose to homeschool him, made made me sick to my stomach. The courts recently ruled in favor of the government and cut back parental visits to one hour every five weeks. I only know what I read online, but it seems to me that this family could use our help.

Read about it here:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/200912220.asp

Sign a petition urging Swedish officials to send the boy home here:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/return-dominic-johansson-to-his-parents

And (most importantly) if you'd like to write letters to Swedish officials, here are the e-mail addresses you'll need (you can find these with links at the HSLDA site listed above):

The social workers

sofi.rosenqvist@gotland.se
caroline.palmqvist@gotland.se

The social workers’ supervisors

kristina.djerf@gotland.se
marika.gardell@gotland.se

National officials

Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt
Telephone: +46 8 405 10 00
Mailing Address: Rosenbad 4, SE-103 33 Stockholm

Minister Maria Larsson
Ministry for Elderly Care and Public Health, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Telephone +46 8 405 10 00
Fax +46 8 723 11 91
Mail Address: Fredsgatan 8; SE-103 33 Stockholm

To email the officials above visit the webpage: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2052

Local politicians and government leaders
Brittmarie.Fagerlund@lansstyrelsen.se
gustaf.hoffstedt@gotland.se
eva.nypelius@gotland.se
lars.thomsson@gotland.se
lena.celion@gotland.se
gotlands.kommun@gotland.se

Indian Ambassador to Sweden
ambassador@indianembassy.se

Dominic's father explains the situation (link):
Our son Dominic was removed from our custody by the Swedish Social Services with the help of the Swedish police force. What follows is a short story revealing the corruption of a few, dehumanizing actions and total lack of both responsibility and respect for basic human rights and freedoms in modern Sweden.

My name is Christer and the son of two very average hard-working parents. I was born in Sweden 1969 and raised in a rural environment where I developed and interest for helping animals, nature and people.

As a youth I found myself and my interests gravitating more and more introspective, one could say I am a very intellectual and inward looking soul, though I am social by nature. I have questioned life and how we live, looked at our values and tried to the best of my abilities to live them fully as best I can.

I believe in a simple practical healthy lifestyle and taking the time to help people and those less fortunate than myself.

In that spirit I found myself helping the local police where I live on Gotland and social organizations with "problem youth", creating new bridges of communication between parties and even assisting in ridding the island of Gotland I live on of violent criminal elements.

Having worked in social services I know well the value of a bit of citizen action and responsibility while looking out for ones fellow "man" so to speak, and would that more of us take such tasks upon themselves as well.

I have always found independent finance and support for all my projects. Whether it be my spare time or money from my own pocket.

When our newest project to help poor and homeless destitute children in India was developed almost 8 years ago, that was my attitude as well.

My wife Annie is an Indian citizen, and I was inspired by the challenges I saw in her home country to find a way to practically share my ideas and talents to help the suffering poor in ways to give them independence as opposed to seeking hand outs.

We created Mep Programs to establish the foundation for this in India in 2002. The idea was and is to help children by giving them the social and practical skills and support to take them out of the situations the find themselves in today.

Unfortunately for all involved we were all traumatized by a violent earthquake in Gujarat leaving over 16 000 people killed, and 600 000 people homeless.

We were on our way back home to Sweden from that tragedy when we were robbed of almost all our possessions and money on the way to the airport, and by the time we landed in Sweden we were both suffering from shock, overwork and depression.

Our son Dominic was to be born soon, and I was determined to be in top form for this welcome change in our lives, and the responsibility that incurs.

In order to keep on with our plans I decided to, with the recommendation of my doctor whom I sought help with, to go along with his advice and began taking a prescription of the anti-depression drug Seroxat.
(see youtube.com - taken on trust by Panormama BBC)
(I was advised to begin with 60mg)

This is where my story takes a downward turn.

I found myself in the unusual psychological state of even more heightened depression and angst. Having never suffered from such things I waited to see how things would develop. I figured it may have something to do with what I had experienced and also to be patient with the drugs. I found this to in fact be the opposite of what I had expected. After several months of worsening effects, I again asked for help and I was recommended increasing my dose of medication!

What followed was even worse and decided to take myself off the medication with the help of herbal medicines. After much research online I found the right substances and began my natural self medication (I am very weary of un-ecological and chemical products) which to my and my family's delight worked!

During the following years our son Dominic had cleared all the normal check ups and bills of health as any normal child would. Not only that, the doctors said that he had the mental capacity of a child two years his senior. (2006)

That being the case we continued our work with our test center on Gotland where we ran a working model of what we would like to see in India. This would help us iron out any problems and bumps along the way.

We home-schooled Domenic for a while (because we knew we are going to leave Sweden in a while), and contacted the Swedish school authorities for the requirements of doing so, and they kindly said all we needed to do was to contact the principal at his school to supply us with the appropriate study material etc. I have experience with schooling in my profession, which also helps me. My wife Annie is well educated and can teach on a University level!

Unbelievably, the principal not only denied us the material (which by law he was to supply us), he said openly he couldn't care less about our interest in human rights and decided to contact the social services to start an investigation of this situation!

Our project continued and during this time we tried on several occasions to help him, and those involved understand where we were coming from and to just relax about things.

They really seemed to be at odds with this, were uncooperative and at times hostile.

Well, during this time we had sold all our possessions, saved our money and looked forward to settling in with our project in India to get started with the practical works needed on site. With this in mind we bought our tickets, packed our bags and sat ourselves on the plane at Stockholm Arlanda airport, looking forward to a long flight and finally getting started.

But it was not to be so.

As the airplane was about to depart, it was stopped by the Swedish Police, who came onboard, took us all into custody at the airport and took away our son! We were completely surprised and shocked, my wife collapsed in a state of overwhelm and panic, no one was there to help, I tried my best to comfort her as she went in and out of consciousness. Her lips turned blue and her whole body had gone into a state of shock.

Finally I was able to resuscitate her, comfort her, though to this day she is understandably feeling extremely down, sad and in a state of disbelief. As an Indian citizen she could never have imagined such things happening in a modern western country.

Through all the madness, the brutal inhumane and complete disregard for basic human rights, the only reason for all this explained to us was the fact that our son Domenic had two bad milk teeth, which the social services deemed enough evidence to "kidnap" him away from us, and place him in the custody of some strange family.

As this gross negligence progressed and as we have fought day and night to get him back we have heard only the most pathetic and absurd excuses from the social workers responsible. Who have, by the way been pathetically unhelpful and downright uncooperative.

Our civil servants have cited the bad teeth, and a few anonymous letters as being the cause for the "kidnapping". Unbelievable, that a modern western country, in the EU would act like something out of a banana republic, with a dictatorship gulag mentality, with total disregard for family and the love between child and parents.

After a few weeks they changed approach and claimed we are bad parents, for no reason!

Who are these people who are responsible?

Obviously confused or unable to accept other cultures etc, individuals with the names of "Sofi Rosenqvist and Caroline Palmqvist", work for "Gotlands Kommun".
(sofi.rosenqvist@gotland.se - caroline.palmqvist@gotland.se)

The "Socialtjänsten" over here on Gotland has a history of over-reacting and complaints against them and their fellow co-workers are on our side in this regard.

What is happening right now, is our son Domenic is placed in an extremely stressful situation, we have little or no contact with him, his diet of organic healthy foods is non existent (when we finally got to meet him briefly he told us, under supervision how much candy he has been eating, ironic considering his so called bad teeth would be a central issue for their actions).

The more our lawyers look at this case, the more apparent that their is either total corruption and disregard for human rights within the social services to allow this negligence to continue

I am and have a background in social work, I am and have been working together with my wife to make this world a better place, and not just talk about it in endless meetings like so many beurocrats do.

I will and have worked with the police and other aspects of the social departments to help rid society of criminal elements, establish communication and responsibility with youth needing help and working on our project for the better part of 10 years.

That two misguided individuals would use the Swedish police to "kidnap" Dominic, to cite anonymous letters and bad teeth as evidence to do this is a dangerous precedent, it is without compare in an open and free society and indicative of the big social problems in society at large.

Their actions, decisions and continuing cover-up of the so-called evidence says more about their mental state of mind and lack of human compassion than any pathetic accusations towards us. What lay behind such claims and gross misuse of power?
(Difficulties to understand and respect a different life from the so called norm)

What sort of people separate children from parents without any evidence?

I am not sure, the attitude and actions are almost alien to me, but in comparison there must be some megalomaniacal feudalistic socialist beaurocratical fixation at work here.

I can only imagine that such actions are the work of persons unfit for such responsibility and positions of influence in the first place and that as this comes to light that the better elements of the modern Swedish social services will do the right thing and take care of this before our son sinks into depression and more mental stress. Annie is as well in a very bad state for the moment, and getting worse day by day for that matter!

We will continue our fight for our son, we will shed light on this situation as it develops with the blogs and media of the world asking that people look carefully at what is going on here. (swe blog http://www.mepprograms.org/omhandertagande.html)

We ask that anyone who cares and wants to know further the claims and details contact the public social services department at "Socialtjänsten Gotland" and ask any questions you feel.

Don't take our word for it, find out for yourself how incredibly preposterous and sadistic this situation is.
Please remember the people doing this are misguided human beings, so please remember to be polite as well.

If the Social Services on Gotland can take away a happy healthy young boy from his family (two persons who are socially responsible, working with a project to help needy and starving children, with a background in community services, cooperation with the police and with many other people in social services vouching for us) imagine what they can do to the average working person.

Imagine, at the supposed claim (we have not seen the attested letters or evidence of when they were supposedly sent) that someone complained that your child or children would be taken away from you.

The implications of this are terrifying, and the immediate effects on us all emotionally are almost unbearable, on top of this, our families in India are worried, and our project to help the poor and starving children of India sits on hold.

We hope for an immediate resolve of this gross injustice and a formal apology from those involved with reprimands to those responsible now.

Article written by Mark, with the help of Christer and Annie!


By Christer:
I would like to thank Mark for helping us with this article, and I would like to add a few things as well.

I'm no better then other people, I'm just a normal human being, trying my best to do what I feel is important both in my life and in this world. My family is maybe a little different from the norm, but, when did that become a crime?

I've red the Swedish constitution, and I have also read the mission that the Social Services are acting upon, and there actions against us are really not there, anywhere, so where do they come from?

Why this article?
There are courts to decide what's right in cases like this! Yes, there is... But when the Social Services and there lawyer started to lie and mix facts I decided to go public! The lawyer also added in the last meeting,
- They hate authorities!
Answer, No we do not, no matter what you try, I will never hate other people for what you have done and created!

The last thing I heard from the Social Services was, - Domenic is traumatized now, so he needs to be in a calm and peaceful environment. We agree, let him come home then! That is not a suggestion, that is our demand!

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