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Polish court supports family. Denis Lisow is allowed to stay in Poland

Published: 12.07.2019


The District Court in Warsaw decided that Denis Lisow – a Russian national who fled from Sweden with his daughters, may stay in Poland. In the Court’s opinion, basic human rights concerning family life may be endangered in Sweden, whose authorities issued an European Arrest Warrant for Lisow. The man is represented by the Ordo Iuris Institute.

Three girls were taken away from their family after their mother had been taken to hospital. The children were placed in Muslim foster care although they are Orthodox Christians. They stayed 400 km away from their parents’ place of residence. Denis Lisow decided to take his daughters and go with them to Russia via Poland. Swedish social services in Warsaw tried to take the children away, which was prevented by the Polish Border Guard and Police. The Court decided that the family may stay in Poland for the duration of the asylum proceedings.

The Swedish authorities issued the European Arrest Warrant for Lisow. The District Court in Warsaw rejected the demand to expel the man, basing its decision on the fact that the Swedish authorities violated the European Convention of Human Rights, in particular the family life protection principles. The Court stated that Lisow's behaviour had been justified in a situation in which Swedish authorities had drastically limited his possibilities of contacts with his daughters. Moreover, the Court emphasised that the children were strongly attached to their father and, despite this, they were placed in a culturally different foster family. Therefore, the authorities’ actions were contrary to the girls’ well-being In the Court’s opinion, Sweden did not respect the children’s sensitivity. Moreover, Denis Lisow could not have “kidnapped” his daughters because he had full parental authority over them.

“The decision issued today by the Court confirms that Poland defends the fundamental value of the family life protection guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and the provisions of international law. It constitutes severe criticism of the legal system in the Kingdom of Sweden, which – by taking the children away from Denis Lisow – violates human rights, in particular Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights” – stated Maciej Kryczka, the attorney from the Ordo Iuris Process Intervention Centre.

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