Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Belarus Child's Custody in Limbo After Parents Arrested for Protesting

"Belarus boy in custody tug-of-war after arrests"
January 11, 2011

"A woman in Belarus is battling to prevent the authorities [from] taking custody of her infant grandson, whose parents are jailed opposition activists.

Lyutsina Khalip said [her grandson], aged three-and-a-half, "asks constantly where his mum and dad are".

His parents, Andrei Sannikov and Irina Khalip, were arrested after an opposition rally on 19 December at which police clashed with protesters.

Observers have said President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election was flawed.

Police arrested hundreds of people including opposition candidates in the capital Minsk after the election. Many are still being held at a KGB state security centre.

So far 31 have been charged in connection with the opposition protests, Interfax news agency reports...

Lyutsina Khalip, whose jailed daughter Irina is an investigative journalist, said she had had to prove to child welfare officers that she was capable of looking after Danil.

"They suggested that perhaps I wasn't well enough to look after him. I told them I had everything he needed. I applied to be his guardian," she told the Europe Today programme on the BBC World Service.

"In the last few days I've been running back and forth from place to place, to prove that I'm not mad, not taking drugs and don't have any sexual diseases.

"They now say I'm medically well enough," she said, but added that Danil had also undergone a medical check, including a blood test.

"They'll check where I live to see if it's suitable, then they'll decide my grandson's fate," she said."

Read the complete article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12159763

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