12 Nov 2017 16:45

Russian mother in Finland has her daughter taken away, given to foster family

HELSINKI. Nov 12 (Interfax) - Finnish authorities have taken away a 12-year-old girl from the family of a Russian woman, who lives in Finland, because the mother had allegedly "slapped the girl with a T-shirt." The child has been given to a foster family.

Yelena Smolenchuk appealed to the Russian authorities and journalists for help a few days ago, Finnish human rights campaigner Johan Beckman told Interfax on Sunday.

She and her husband have long lived in Rakula, a town in eastern Finland. The couple has two daughters, nine and 12 years old. There is no family conflict. The younger daughter is with the family, Beckman said.

He says that the older girl was taken from school in late September without the parents' knowledge.

It is also known that she had been mocked at school for being Russian and a teacher had threatened her with prison, Beckman said.

The mother was told not to use Russian when talking to co-workers, he said.

Smolenchuk also told him that a Russian friend of hers had been told that her children would be taken away from her unless she agreed to work at a nursing home for free.