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AFP: Bi-national Divorces: parents start a hunger strike in Berlin


From: "fried" fried@aesops.force9.co.uk
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 21:45:01 +0100

Bi-national Divorces: parents start a hunger strike in Berlin

BERLIN, 11 July 2001 (Agence France Press (AFP) -

Three fathers and one grandmother began a hunger strike this Wednesday in Berlin, considering themselves victims of the German legal system in divorce matters, sometimes bi-national, reports an AFP journalist.

Sitting on the steps of the German Cathedral (the "Deutscher Dom"), in the heart of Berlin, the four hunger strikers hold photos of their children, who they say they have not seen for months, or even years.

They count on the enlargement of this movement, several days from now, to about ten people coming in particular from France, Sweden and South Africa.

A demonstration is anticipated for this Saturday, which should draw together about one hundred people, as indicated by one of the hunger strikers, the Frenchman Olivier Karrer, who states that he has seen his son Julian, aged six, only once in 783 days. The child lives in Germany with his German mother. (See also: "Acquittal : Olivier Karrer was acquitted on 8 April 2008 before the district court Hamburg Barmbek of the accusation by the German mother of the common son that he tried in the year 2002 to kidnap his son." By Karin Jäckel, Ph.D., April 11, 2008; unfortunately, Karin Jäckel's account of the Karrer case is in German and not available in English.)

"We will cease our action when the German government decides to present in the European parliament a draft law, unique in Europe, which prevents the penalisation of binational parents", declared M. Karrer.

When asked about this hunger strike, the German MP, Rolf Stoeckel, member of the Franco-German parliamentary mediation commission, created in 1999 in order to intervene in conflicts between divorced Franco-German couples, considered that "there are certainly problems and reasons for protesting, but this action is directed against the wrong people".

"The German legal system is independent, it is not nationalist", he added.

The German legal system is often criticised for its own peculiar interpretation of the 1985 Hague Convention. The convention stipulates that, when children are abducted, they must be returned as soon as possible to the country in which they were living when they were  taken.

German judges have a marked tendency to rely on a clause of an exclusion clause in the convention which places the "best interests of the child" first, and allows that the child can remain in his new place of residence if his "interests" require this, explains Pervenches Benes, MP of the European parliament and member of the Franco-German parliamentary mediation commission.

According to Mr Benes, there are no cases of actual child abduction between France and Germany. Instead, it is a more a question of the classic divorce case in which custody is determined.

The commission, composed of three German MPs and three French MPs, was occupied by about thirty parents, mostly French. Unique of its type, this a pilot project at European level.

The last Franco-German divorce case to have reached the headlines was in 1999. The break-up of the Lancelin/Tiemann couple even turned into a judicial struggle between French and German courts, after the Frenchwoman Cosette Lancelin and the German Armin Tiemann had fought for months in the French and German courts to obtain custody of their children. Cosette Lancelin had taken her children to France against the wishes of their father, who had re-abducted them whilst the divorce case remained to be decided.

Translation JF

Binationale Scheidungen: Elternteile beginnen einen Hungerstreik in Berlin

BERLIN, 11.7. 2001 (Agence France Press (AFP) -

Drei Vaeter und eine Grossmutter haben diesen Mittwoch in Berlin einen Hungerstreik begonnen, betrachten sich als Opfer des deutschen Rechtssystemes was Scheidungssachen - manchmal binationale - angeht, berichtet ein AFP Journalist.

Waehrend sie auf der Treppe des Deutschen Domes im Herzen Berlin's sitzen, halten die vier Hungerstreiker Fotos ihrer Kinder, welche, wie sie sagen, sie fuer Monate und sogar Jahre nicht gesehen haben.

Sie zaehlen auf die Vergroesserung ihrer Bewegung innerhalb einiger Tage bis auf ungefaehr zehn Leute die zum Teil von Frankreich, Schweden und Suedafrika kommen.

Eine Demonstration die ungefaehr einhundert Leute anziehen sollte ist fuer diesen Sonnabend erwartet, so einer der Hungerstreiker, Franzose Olivier Karrer, der sagte dass er seinen Sohn Julian, sechs Jahre alt, nur einmal in 783 Tagen gesehen hat. Der Junge lebt mit seiner Mutter in Deutschland.

"Wir werden unsere Aktion beendigen wenn die deutsche Regierung sich dazu entschliesst im europaeischen Parlament einen Entwurf fuer ein einheitliches europaeisches Gesetz praesentiert welches die Bestrafung der Eltern aus binationalen Ehen verhuetet," erklaerte Herr Karrer.

Als Rolf Stoeckel, deutsches Mitglied des Bundestages und Mitglied des Franzoesisch-Deutschen Palamentaerischen Schlichtungs Kommittee das in 1999 gegruendet wurde um in Konflikten zwischen geschiedenen franzoesisch-deutschen Elternteilen einzugreifen, ueber den Hungerstreik gefragt wurde, meinte er dass "da sicherlich Probleme und Gruende sind die zum Protestieren antreiben, aber diese Aktion is gegen die falschen Leute gerichtet."

"Das Deutsche Rechtssystem ist unabhaengig, es ist nicht nationalistisch," fuegte er zu.

Das deutsche Rechtssystem wird oft wegen seiner eigenartigen Auslegung der Hag Konvention von 1985 kritisiert. Die Konvention schreibt vor, dass wenn Kinder enfuehrt worden sind sie sobald wie moeglich zu dem Land aus dem sie entfuehrt wurden zurueckgesandt werden muessen.

Deutsche Richter haben eine merkbare Tendenz sich auf einen Paragraphen in der Konvention zu stuetzen die eine Ausschliessungsklause enthaelt welche "die Wohlfahrt des Kindes" ueber alles stellt und erlaubt dass das Kind in dem neuen Land seines Aufenthalts bleiben kann wenn seine "Wohlfahrt" das notwendig macht, erklaerte Pervenches Benes, Mitglied vom Europaeischen Parlament und Mitglied des Franzoesisch-Deutschen Palamentaerischen Schlichtungs Kommittees.

Nach Herrn Benes gibt es keine Faelle eigentlicher Kinderentfuehrung zwischen Frankreich und Deutschland. An Stelle dessen ist es mehr eine Frage einer klassischen Scheidung in der das Elternrecht entschieden werden muss.

Das Kommittee, welches aus drei deutschen Parlamentmitgliedern und drei franzoesischen Parlamentmitgliedern besteht, war mit ungefaehr dreissig Elternteilen beschaeftigt, die meisten davon Franzosen. Einzigartig, es ist ein Modellversuch von europaeischem Ausmass.

Der letzte franzoesisch-deutsche Scheidungsfall der in die Schlagzeilen kam fand in 1999 statt. Die Aufloesung des Lancelin/Tiemann Paares verwandelte sich sogar in einen juristischen Kampf zwischen franzoesischen und deutschen Gerichtshoefen, nachdem die Franzoesin Cosette Lancelin und der Deutsche Armin Tiemann fuer Monate in franzoesischen and deutschen Gerichtshoefen gekaempft hatten Elternrechte ueber ihre Kinder zu erhalten. Gegen den Wunsch des Vaters der Kinder hatte Cosette Lancelin sie nach Frankreich genommen, worauf er sie wieder entfuehrte, waerend der Scheidungsfall noch unbestimmt blieb.


Back to Index of Hunger for Justice in Berlin

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SUN — Seniors United Now

The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization for seniors (55 years and over) in Alberta

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If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the planned, systematic destruction of our families and society, a search at google.com (for elderly OR seniors OR grandparent OR grandfather OR grandmother site:http://fathersforlife.org) will provide you with the links to about 80 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.

White RoseThe White Rose
Thoughts are Free

__________________
Posted 2001 07 11
Updates:
2004 06 24 (added entry for SUN — Seniors United Now)