Prague – Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek expressed his indignation at the Norwegian authorities´ approach to the case of the Michalak boys taken from their Czech parents at a meeting with deputy Norwegian ambassador Monica Stensland today.
Norská velvyslankyně v Česku Siri Ellen Sletnerová (na archivním snímku z 23. ledna 2015). ČTK Vondrouš Roman
Zaoralek (senior government Social Democrats, CSSD) told reporters previously he considered Norway´s decision to strip the boys´ Czech mother, Eva Michalakova, of her parental rights to them outrageous in view of a previous agreement on the issue.
Zaoralek told Stensland today the Foreign Ministry would send a diplomatic note to the Norwegian government demanding an explanation.
The Norwegian Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet) took the boys away from their parents, in Norway in May 2011 on suspicion of abuse and neglect which was not proved, however. The Michalaks were living in Norway then.
Zaoralek originally announced that he had summoned Norwegian Ambassador Siri Ellen Sletner over the Michalak case.
President Milos Zeman, on his part, said he would not consider the idea of expelling the Norwegian ambassador bad as proposed by Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).
Zeman also said the Czech Republic should turn to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg over the Michalak boys´ case.
Zaoralek has not commented on it yet.
He will discuss the case with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) and other minister in the afternoon.
According to a press release, the Foreign Ministry is analysing all available information and the respective decision now.
Zaoralek reiterated that the ministry was prepared to support Michalakova if she filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.
Zaoralek told journalists that during the negotiations in the past months, Oslo had repeatedly told Prague that if the boys´ biological family were interested in caring of them and if Prague offered help, the adoption of the boys in Norway would be out of the question.
«This is why I consider the decision, which [the Norwegians] made today outrageous,» Zaoralek said.
He said the Czech state had granted auspices to the offer made by the Michalak family. In this situation, he views the decision of the Norwegian authorities a breach of Oslo´s promise, he added.
«I respect different systems but I would like our system to be respected, too, if Czech citizens are involved,» Zaoralek said, adding that he was aware of the differences between the Norwegian and Czech approached to childcare.
Norwegian authorities have put the younger son up for adoption and they have stripped the mother of her parental rights to her older son as well, thus banning her contact with the boys. Michalakova will appeal the decision, However, the father did not lose the rights to the older son, her defence counsels said.
Written by: ČTK