Can taking your child to an opposition rally make you a bad parent? Well, it depends on where you live. One couple is learning it the hard way that parenting and political views just don’t mix as their government is looking to remove a baby boy from them after they took him to a rally.
According to Britain’s The Telegraph, authorities in Russia are looking to strip Dmitry Prozakov and his wife Olga of their parental rights. That’s only because the couple decided to take their one-year-old boy to an unsanctioned opposition rally in Moscow back on July 27.
Authorities claim that the couple were putting their child’s life in danger at the rally, where some 1,300 protestors were detained. Thousands of people took to the streets to protest a move by authorities to bar opposition candidates from taking part in municipal elections. The rally took place in Moscow.
A prosecutor’s office alleged that the parents gave their 1-year-old son to a "third party" during the demonstration on July 27, claiming this "endangered the boy's health and welfare, as well as causing him physical and moral harm." Apparently, the couple handed their son to another man who is now being sought on charges of organizing mass riots. Whether they personally knew the man or not remains unclear.
This particular incident follows a tough police crackdown on rallies protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from September’s city council election. So far, the case has gotten plenty of criticism both in Russia and abroad. Children’s rights ombudsman Yevgeny Bunmovichdenounced the statement and called it political blackmail involving children. So far, he has written to Moscow’s prosecutor urging him to drop the charges.
Dmitry Prozakov, meanwhile, is defending his and his wife’s actions. He says that they weren’t anywhere near police cordons and that their child was never put in danger. “We didn’t feel any danger,” he said. “It never occurred to me that I was doing something wrong.”
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Olga Misik, 17, was photographed sitting in front of the officers reading out the country’s constitution – which affirms the right to peaceful gatherings – during protests on Saturday. Olga Misik, 17 ans, a été photographiée assise face à la police russe entrain de leur lire la Consitution Russe - qui affirme le droit de manifestation pacifique - durant la manifestation de samedi. (from an article of the Independent UK) #димонответит #olgamisik
However, Prozakov did add that he and his wife were left scared when authorities knocked on their door in the middle of the night and searched their apartment as if they were dangerous criminals. He told local reporters that they were not only shocked by the unwelcomed visit, but they also felt as though someone was trying to take their child away from them in the most barbaric fashion, too.