News/Members of Poland's Parliament, «The Sejm», challenge Foreign Minister Czaputowicz to grant Asylum to Mama Silje and Baby Eira

Members of Poland's Parliament, «The Sejm», challenge Foreign Minister Czaputowicz to grant Asylum to Mama Silje and Baby Eira

June 11, 2018
Members of Poland's Parliament, «The Sejm», challenge Foreign Minister Czaputowicz to grant Asylum to Mama Silje and Baby EiraPaweł Jacek Lisiecki and Piotr Michał Uściński with Silje Garmo in Warsaw last month

Two members of Poland´s Parliament, «The Sejm», Piotr Michał Uściński and Paweł Jacek Lisiecki, have written a letter to Poland´ s Foreign Minister, Dr. Jacek Czaputowicz, regarding the matter of the Norwegian mother Silje Garmo and her baby Eira, challenging him to grant asylum to the Norwegian family. 

The letter was received by Dr. Czaputowicz on May 15th, and the matter of Silje & Eira was supposed to have been decided on May 31st. To this date, no decision has been made.

Here is the letter:

Dear minister,

A citizen of the Kingdom of Norway, Mrs. Silje Garmo, in August last year filed with the head of the Office for Foreigners an application for granting her and her daughter Eira Garmo asylum on the territory of the Republic of Poland. The justification for submitting the application was the unlawful behavior of the child protection office (Barnevernet), which violated several of Silje's and Eira Garmo's rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international acts.

After conducting the proceedings, the head of the Office for Foreigners decided that the violations indicated in the application of human rights occurred in the case, as a result of which Silje Garmo's return to Norway is currently impossible and Silje Garmo and her daughter need to be granted asylum.

Then, the head of the Office for Foreigners, acting in accordance with the provisions of the Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland, asked the minister competent for foreign affairs, ie the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to give consent for granting asylum. To this day, such consent has not been issued. The deadline for settling the case is still extended, now until May 31, 2018.

It is worth mentioning that the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted on April 27 this year a report entitled "Striking a balance between the best interest of the child and the need to keep the families together". The commission commissioned the report in January 2016, pointing to the shocking and noisy case of the Marius and Ruth Bodnariu family, in which the Norwegian children's office (Barnevernet) "based on anecdotal allegations of violence, without any democratic oversight, issued a protective decision to forcefully pick up five children, including a three-month-old infant being breastfed." Barnevernet's actions are defined as "final steps that can not be justified before other activities such as environmental intelligence, psychological counseling or mediation are carried out".

It should be pointed out that a similar threat applies to Silje Garmo and her daughter.

Bearing in mind the above, we turn to the Minister with the following question:

When will the minister responsible for foreign affairs issue the consent referred to in art. 94 par. 2 of the Act on granting protection to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland?


With respect,

Piotr Michał Uściński and Paweł Jacek Lisiecki

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