Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Children Held Prisoner

Cultural Enrichment News

I have two different versions of this story, one translated from the Danish, the other in English in the original.

First, an article translated from Jyllands-Posten by our new volunteer translator, Signe. Concerning the story, Signe says:

It has since has been removed from the JP site, but the national tabloid BT has the same wording except that BT draws a parallel to the Fritzl case and shows a picture of the apartment where the “Swedish family” was kept.

The regional paper Jydske Vestkysten adds that the parents claimed that the children went to school “abroad”.

That last sentence reminds me of my previous post about immigrant children in Finland who are being “de-Westernized” abroad.

And now for the translation:

Father kept family imprisoned for years

A father in Uppsala, Sweden, is under suspicion of having kept his four children, now aged between 16 and 22 years, imprisoned for many years.

They were not allowed to go to school either, Uppsala Nya Tidning, UNT, writes Monday.

The man was arrested in late June, when the police were called to the family’s apartment after neighbours heard fighting. It then came out that he had abused his wife on several occasions.

Later it appeared that he had kept his two daughters and two sons incarcerated, only to be let out of the house as a group if he accompanied them.

All four children are Swedish citizens, but the man and his wife come from another country. The country of origin has not been revealed.

The police as well as media and politicians wonder how it was possible for the man to keep his children hidden from the social authorities.

The children are well, considering the circumstances, says a spokesperson from the Uppsala police, who continue their investigation. [emphasis added]

Here’s the version from The Local, which is very similar, and provides additional details:
- - - - - - - - -
Father of Four Held Wife and Kids Captive

A father of four is Uppsala is suspected of keeping his children, currently between the ages of 16 and 22, home from school their entire lives. The children and the man’s wife are also alleged to have been illegally imprisoned in their home, reported Uppsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper.

The man was arrested at the end of June after the police received a call about a disturbance at the residence. It was then discovered he had repeatedly abused his wife. He was taken into custody for gross violation of a woman’s integrity.

It was later found out that he had also prevented his two daughters and two sons from attending school. How he confined them to the home is still unclear, a police source told UNT.

The police believe that the man used threats and violence to keep the children under his control and stop them from coming and going out to play. The children were reportedly only seen out in public in a group under the surveillance of their father.

The man’s wife was also said to have periodically been held captive and he is therefore now under suspicion for the illegal imprisonment of both his wife and children.

The family is reported to have spent periods of time in the man’s native country, as well as elsewhere abroad. The children, however, were born in Sweden and are Swedish citizens.

The man’s identity is also unclear since information about his age is incorrect, reported UNT.

According to Uppsala police spokesperson Christer Nordström, the children are doing well given the circumstances. He told TT that the neighbours became suspicious when the children were never seen alone outside.

“You wonder how it’s possible to be born in Sweden and not attend school. It raises questions about how well we monitor those who come to Sweden and their children,” he said.

Police received a call about the family on June 27th. “Then we received a report about what had happened to the family. It came in from several sources, from neighbours, but also from relatives. I believe the wife was one of them in one instance,” Nordström told TT.

He believes that one reason that no one had reported the case previously was that they travelled abroad frequently.

“They have been gone the last several years, possibly since 2004, and just came back to Sweden this year.”

Just how the father was able to keep all four children out of school for so long without raising alarm bells is unknown. Social welfare services in Uppsala were unfamiliar with the family’s case prior to the police report.

The father denies the charges of illegal imprisonment and gross violation of a woman’s integrity, according to his lawyer Claes Nylander.

According to Nylander, the father also claims that the children have attended school, but not in Sweden.

Prosecutor Johan Strömbäck has just received the case. It was previously reported that charges might be filed on Tuesday, but Strömbäck said that there may be a delay.


For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

Hat tip for the Local story: TB.

2 comments:

Robin Shadowes said...

From what I have learned, the parents in the swedish case is from Iran.

Solkhar said...

A bad and sad case - happens to often by all culturzs. Think of that madman in Austria recently - a local!