The State Administration of Belarus
Picture of Nicolas


MFA 2019.12.14 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden – My response to the E-mail received 2019.12.10
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Ex- Minister Ann Linde

The Sleeping Kingdom of Sweden

The Sleeping Kingdom of Sweden

2019.12.14 Response to E-mail received 2019.12.10

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Swedish Central Authority for The Hague Convention
Consular and Civil Affairs Unit
Case Protocol Number: UD2017/07377/KC.

To Whom It May Concern:

This is my response in regard to the email received on 2019.12.10 from the Consular and Civil Affairs Unit.

Due to my ongoing legal battle in Belarus for the return of my daughters Anthie’ and Alexandra back to Sweden, I kindly ask you to provide me with copies of documentation/extracts in the timeline of performed actions by the Central Authority of Sweden or any other State Authority as follows:

Received feedback/answers 2020.01.17 on submitted questions to the MFA of SW 2019.12.14.

 please confirm what actions have the Central Authority of Sweden taken in order to achieve their return back home (to Sweden), and please send me a copy of the internal procedure that the CA of Sweden is following in international abduction cases;


I would like to start by reminding you that the MFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), as a central authority, is neutral and does not represent any of the parties in the return process. In your case, we have assisted in the usual order by communicating your request and being in contact with the other country’s central authority to, for example, cooperate on locating your children, and asking questions about legislation and the judicial process in Belarus. See, among other things, e-mails to you on March 7, 2018, including. information on cooperation between central authorities.

– please confirm what measures/actions have the CA of Sweden taken to protest against the illegal notification regarding the hearing 2018.12.27 in Minsk, where procedural laws were perverted and violated. The CA and County of Stockholm have been duly noted this serious issue. How did you follow up on this;


The question of service (notification) and the handling thereof belong to another central authority – the County Administrative Board in Stockholm. I can, therefore, refer you to the central authority on this matter. 

please confirm what measures/actions have the CA of Sweden taken regarding the illegal custody decision ruled 2018.12.27 in Minsk. This decision goes against everything Article 16 stands for in The Hague Convention and domestic procedural laws. The CA has been duly noted this serious issue which has created serious obstacles in my further battle and access to my children. How did you follow up on this;


In the role of central authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Sweden) has on several occasions requested that the court to be informed about Article 16 and asked questions on your behalf on how Article 16 and Belarussian law relate to each other, no later than May 2019. On 29 September 2017, the Belarussian central authority confirmed that they had informed the court of Article 16, which you also learned through your then legal representative. The Belarussian Central Authority announced on April 2, 2018, that they did not consider it necessary to make further notification (see email to you with information on April 9, 2018). Subsequently, the Belarussian Central Authority has not answered any further questions about Article 16, despite questions from our side on your behalf.

– also, how does the CA of Sweden work in coordination with other Swedish government agencies or police;


The Swedish Central Authority is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is responsible for the administration of cases, among other things, according to the 1980 Hague Convention. Cooperation with other authorities, including the police authority, takes place if and when deemed necessary. However, this does not happen regularly because we, as authorities, are often responsible for different types of cases. One example is that in child abduction, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the civil law part, while the police/prosecutor is responsible for the criminal case.

– please specify the timeline of these actions from the very beginning of the case (dates, names of the representatives involved, description of the given action, outcome, assessment of the situation, etc.) until recent;


In regards to your request for a timeline of contacts made etc., it is not something we assist with. I can, therefore, refer you to the information that you will receive after your request for access to public documents has been processed.

– how many times have the Swedish authorities or Embassy/Consular officers tried to confirm the location of my children, arrange a visit with them, and report back to me on their condition;


Locating children within the framework of the 1980 Hague Convention falls within the remit of central and local authorities. An Embassy does not have the right to exercise authority in the host country and, therefore, cannot act as, for example. a police authority or social service. In your case, the Belarussian Central Authority has assisted with localization. See the response communicated to you through your then representative on May 30, 2017.

– has any Swedish Diplomatic Security Service or Regional Security Officer at the Swedish Embassy in Belarus contacted the Belarussian police or local officials to request information on my children’s entry or their residence in Belarus;


As stated above, your case for the return of your children is handled by the central authority of each country.

– has any Swedish Embassy official attempted to visit my children in Belarus? Has the Swedish Mission in Belarus ever requested assistance from local authorities, either to arrange a visit or to conduct the visit of my children;

Answer; ??? (no ANSWER)

– are any Swedish authorities in continuous contact with Interpol in regard to my abducted children, and if so, what is the status of their interaction? If not in contact with Interpol, why is that;


With regard to the criminal judicial part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may refer you to the competent authorities with your questions, i.e., the police authority and the prosecutor’s office.

– what is the latest update on my case from the Swedish police? How is Swedish law enforcement currently helping me with my case;

Answer; ??? (no ANSWER)

– please confirm which Belarussian legal bodies/government organizations/specific representatives have been contacted by the Swedish authorities in regards to this abduction case and who you are currently working with and/or are in contact on their side in regards to my case;


The Swedish Central Authority has, in the usual order, been in contact with the Belarusian Central Authority. As to the question of what other contacts have been made, I may refer you to the information that is deemed to be available in connection with the examination of your request for access to public documents.

 – please send me a copy of any documentation that the Central Authority of Sweden (and/or any other relevant Swedish government institution involved in this case) has produced in regard to this abduction, and please confirm the reference/document/file numbers under which this documentation exists;


Regarding your case at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the abduction of your children, it is registered in case number UD2017 / 07377 / KC.

In addition to the above, there is case UD2019 / 05333 / KC (application for financial assistance for, inter alia, trips to and from Belarus initiated by you). Request to access public document UD2018 / 15826 / RS (initiated by you). E-mail on July 30, 2017, to the Ministry of Justice (submitted by you and initially registered in file number JUBC2017 / 00566 / Birs, and submitted to UD KC for registration in the existing case with case number UD2017 / 07377 / KC). Letter to the Ministry of Justice with file number Ju2018 / 04638 / L2 (submitted by you). Ongoing examination of your request for access to public documents is dealt with under case number UD2019 / 19921 / RS.

Finally, I would like to reiterate (repeat) that your request for access to public documents is handled separately and that you will be notified of this.

– please specify what further actions will be taken by the Central Authorities of Sweden and/or by any other government-related institutions and also how frequently they will follow up on the whereabouts and the status of my children in Belarus – in connection to this, I am hereby also asking to be informed on a regular basis on your findings each time these follow-ups from the Swedish side are conducted – which means that I want to be informed on these follow-up results immediately, and without having to ask for these updates;


We are currently trying to find out if there are any additional steps you can take in the context of the return case. If not, this case will be closed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As before, you will be informed as soon as we receive a response from the Belarusian Central Authority.

– please confirm the name of the person/government workers or representatives who are handling my case in Sweden and their contact numbers and email addresses, along with their working hours;

Departementssekreterare / Desk Officer
Utrikesdepartementet / Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Enheten för konsulära och civilrättsliga ärenden / Department for Consular Affairs and Civil Law
103 39 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel. +46-8-405 50 19

– also, please confirm the success rate of the children recovery in the Swedish abduction cases for the last 5 years and how long it took to recover those children;


Regarding the number of children returned, no statistics are kept on this.

I have attached statistics where you can find the number of return cases. Regarding the number of children returned, no statistics are kept on this. A case may be terminated for various reasons. It can, for example, it is about a court order that the child is returned and this is executed, but a case can also be closed by a court decision that the child should not be returned. It also happens that parents agree and children are voluntarily returned or that the applicant parent withdraws their application.

– please confirm whether, currently, there is any 24/7 government service for the Swedish citizen to call when an international abduction occurs, and if so, what is the phone and fax number to call in such cases, email address, etc.;

Answer; ??? (no ANSWER)

– have any changes to the current laws or regulations (such as a stricter border control of traveling with minors, etc.) been done this year or last year in regards to the dangers of International parental abductions? If not, what does the Swedish government plan to do to improve these controls?


For example, the inquiry that was set up in October 2019 to submit proposals for strengthening the child’s rights in situations where the parents apply for the child to be relieved from their Swedish citizenship. It has happened that parents have abused the opportunity to apply for exemption from Swedish citizenship in order to prevent their child from seeking help from Swedish missions abroad.

According to information from the Ministry of Justice, legislative work on the protection of children at the national and EU level is ongoing.

In addition, the EU is currently developing new large-scale IT systems and further developing existing ones to help relevant authorities better monitor who crosses the EU’s external borders. These measures will strengthen child protection. For example, in addition to the possibility of introducing registrations of missing persons, the national authorities will in the future be able to make registrations in the Schengen Information System (SIS) about children who are at risk of being abducted by a parent, family member or guardian and who need to be prevented from traveling.

1) Non-Compliance of Japan (2019): In June 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron met French left-behind fathers and raised their cases with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, describing their situation as “unacceptable.” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also spoke with Abe about Italian parents’ rights at the Group of 20 meetings in the Japanese city of Osaka in June.

Now, with French and Italian media outlets taking up the issue, the two European leaders were under pressure to speak up again when the Group of Seven leaders meeting in Biarritz, France, starting Aug. 24.


“Every day these children are separated from their U.S. parent, the damage compounds,” Smith said before a Congressional subcommittee on global human rights. “We must do better. We must not leave any child behind.”


2) Non-Compliance of Slovakia (2018): The Ecuadorian Parliament unanimously approved a resolution last week to send the Ombudsman, its Justice Minister, and its Foreign Affairs Minister to Slovakia to pursue the highest diplomatic level of law enforcement, said Blahová.


3) Non-Compliance of Brazil and Mali:

“Continued diplomatic engagement is our best tool to promote long-term institutional changes in foreign governments,” Risch said.

Another witness testified to the power of heightened pressure on foreign countries. In 2011, Kentucky resident Noelle Hunter’s ex-husband took their 5-year-old daughter, Muna, to Mali. The Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, spearheaded a sustained effort by Kentucky’s congressional delegation to compel Malian officials to return Muna. The campaign succeeded, and Hunter brought her daughter back to America in 2014.


In the latest case, Chris Brann, a Houston physician, has found a unique way to gain leverage over his former spouse, enlisting federal prosecutors to step in.

On Wednesday, F.B.I. agents arrested his ex-wife’s parents when they landed in Miami and charged them with international parental abduction. In a tactic that experts in international custody fights described as unprecedented, Mr. Brann then signaled that the criminal case against them might be dismissed if his ex-wife were to return their son, Nicolas, to the United States immediately.


4) In the USA, the District Attorney of LA County has been directed by the US court to do everything possible to locate the abductor of a US citizen and also the abducted child (i.e., the US authorities were performing most of the legal and enforcement job):

A copy of the Court Order – click on the link to the right:

5) U.S. reaction to an attempted parental child abduction from the USA by a Chinese citizen:

A direct United Airlines flight from Dulles airport to Beijing turned around mid-flight Thursday at the request of FBI agents, who then arrested a passenger in connection with a possible international parental kidnapping after the plane landed.

Lindsay Ram, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington field office, said the mother, Wenjing Liu, was arrested Thursday under the probable cause of international parental kidnapping. Her plane, which took off from Washington Dulles International Airport around noon Thursday, landed back at the same airport at 5 p.m., Ram said.


I hate to repeat myself, but in light of the above examples from other countries, please confirm what Sweden will do to return my daughters (two Swedish citizens) back home.

This letter is also sent by registered post.

With Respect,
Nicolaos Cheropoulos
Father of Anthie and Alexandra
Stockholm 2019.12.14
Reviewed Oct. 2023