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Denis Lisov sends a thank you letter to Poland. The family returns to Russia

Published: 12.11.2019

Babken Khanzadyan

Denis Lisov, a Russian national who fled from Sweden to Poland, returns to Russia with his children. The Swedish authorities issued the European Arrest Warrant for Lisov after he took his daughters back from a Muslim foster family where they had been placed after being unlawfully seized by Swedish social services. The Ordo Iuris Institute whose lawyers were helping the family in Poland, has published Denis Lisov's thank you letter to Polish people.

READ THE LETTER (ENGLISH)

READ THE LETTER (RUSSIAN)

The children were taken away from their family home after their mother had fallen ill. The girls had been placed in Muslim foster care where their remained for a year and a half in violation of their rights, separated from their parents and from their national and religious identity. Denis Lisov tried to get his children back out of foster care but with no success. Among the demands placed on Lisov by Swedish authorities was that to divorce his wife. The man decided to take his daughters and flee to Russia through Poland.

He was stopped at the airport in Warsaw, the final stage of his escape, where the Swedish services made an attempt to seize his children but were  prevented from doing so by the Polish Border Guard and Police. The family received legal assistance from lawyers, dr Bartosz Lewandowski, Esq., Director of the Ordo Iuris Process Intervention Centre and attorney-at-law Babken Khanzadyan. Mikołaj Pawlak, the Ombudsman for Children, also intervened. Denis Lisov applied for asylum in Poland and the case was referred to the District Court in Warsaw. The court decided that the man and his daughters could stay in Poland for the duration of the asylum procedure. Swedish authorities, however, issued the European Arrest Warrant for the Russian national. Thanks to the support of the Ordo Iuris lawyers and the evidence presented by them, which confirmed the violation of international standards protecting family life by the Swedish foster care system, the Regional Court in Warsaw decided not to expel the man. The court noted that granting the request of the Swedish authorities would violate the fundamental rights of Lisov and his children.

Soon after this ruling, the Head of the Office for Foreigners issued a decision refusing to grant asylum to the family. The Office said that Denis Lisov and his daughters were safe in Poland and that they could return to their country without any problem. The man did not apply for re-consideration of his claim and decided to take his children back to Russia. He also wrote a letter in which he thanks his lawyers, Polish authorities and all Polish citizens for the assistance provided.

“I am deeply grateful to have received help from so many wonderful citizens of your country”, Lisov stressed. “I would like to thank Mr Jerzy Kwaśniewski, Esq. and the whole Ordo Iuris Institute which supported me in my fight to stay in Poland with my daughters”, he added.

“The assistance provided to Denis Lisov’s family marks another stage in the European battle for the highest standards of protection of family life. Sweden, whose child removal system very closely resembles that of Norwegian Barnevernet or German Jugendamt, is facing the challenges connected with the need to adjust its long-standing practices to the European family life protection standards. The recent decisions of the Strasbourg Court prove that child protection can’t be used as an excuse for premature and inconsiderate removal of children from their families. I am really happy that the Polish government and courts sided so evidently with the family”, says Jerzy Kwaśniewski, Esq., President of Ordo Iuris.

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