Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A Polish court has allowed a dad who kidnapped his biological kids from their Muslim foster family in Sweden to keep them and the judge ruled that authorities there had “disregarded the sensitivity of children coming from a Russian-European family”.
The series of events began in September 2017 when the Swedish authorities took Denis Lisov’s three daughters from his after his wife, who has not been named in reports, was taken into hospital with schizophrenia.
The Swedish government decided Lisov could not cope with the education of his daughters and so placed them in the care of a Muslim immigrant foster family from Lebanon.
In March 2019, Lisov took his daughters Sophia,12, Seraphina, six, and Alissa, four, and fled Sweden before being detained in April at Warsaw Airport when he was trying to travel with them to Russia.
He was detained because of an arrest warrant issued by the Swedish authorities but a trial was held in Poland where the father argued that the conditions his children were being raised in by the foster family were not suitable.
The court heard from a psychologist that the children were very attached to their father and wanted to live with him.
The judge stated: “They did not feel safe in the foster family, which might have deepened
their stress and result in disorders because the father was unable to watch this and firmly believes the Swedish authorities’ actions violated the children’s well-being, and the Swedish authorities’ actions glaringly disregarded the sensitivity of children coming from a Russian-European family.”
According to the family’s attorney, the fact that the children were placed in a Muslim family of Lebanese origin despite being raised in the Christian faith was also an important factor in Mr Lisov’s decision to escape Sweden and take the children with him.
The court decided that Lisov would not be handed over to the Swedish authorities and stated: “The document violates human and citizen rights and liberties.”
After the decision, Mr Lisov applied for asylum in Poland, but it was not granted. His lawyer said that it was because his client had instead been allowed to return to his home country safely.
On Sunday Lisov set out for Moscow from Warsaw Chopin Airport. He was very grateful for the support he received from Poland and stated: “I am satisfied that the day came when we can finally go home, I want to thank everyone who helped us and supported us in this difficult situation.”
His wife remains in Sweden and he stated: “I hope she will be able to return home to us soon.”
The Swedish authorities can appeal the decision and reports state if he is ever extradited to the Scandinavian country Lisov could face fours in prison. It is unclear if the Swedish authorities have appealed the decision.
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