December 6, 2022



Swedish officials accused of destroying family over homeschooling

Domenic and Annie Johansson

Domenic and Annie Johansson

For half of his life, 14-year-old Domenic Johansson has been in the custody of social services agencies in his home country of Sweden after agents forcibly removed him from a jet on which he and his parents were preparing to leave for his mother’s home country of India, because he was homeschooled.

For much of that time, he’s been denied permission to see or talk to his parents. Social services agencies even have denied him contact with extended relatives, and he was refused permission to attend the funeral of his grandmother.

Now, ADF International is asking the European Court of Human Rights to intervene, restore the boy to his parents and allow them to try to repair the damage that has been inflicted from years of state custody.

WND first reported on the case in 2009 when the boy was 7. At that time, his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, went public with their case after social services officials ordered police to halt their plane’s takeoff so they could snatch Domenic.

The Gotland couple had been homeschooling Domenic, described as “a bright and happy 7-year-old,” as they prepared to move to India. They “made all the right moves, informing the school of their plans.”

But police invaded the international air carrier, took Domenic and placed him in social services custody, where he remains despite years in Swedish courts.

ADF International explained Tuesday why it filed a request to the ECHR to intervene.

“The boy, who is their only son, has not been allowed to see his parents in five years and five months. The Swedish district court acknowledged in 2012 that Domenic’s parents took good care of him, but noted that they schooled him at home. This practice, which is rare but legal in Sweden, forms the background and possibly the reason for the draconian punishment the family continues to suffer,” the organization said.

Lorcán Price, ADF International legal counsel, said the Swedish authorities have clearly violated the Johanssons’ right to family life.”

“This right is a fundamental right expressly guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights,” Price said. “Separating a young child from his parents without even allowing them access to each other is an extreme and unnecessary interference with this right.”

When authorities snatched Domenic, they had no warrant. Nor did they ever charge the Johanssons with a crime.

“At first, Christer and Annie were allowed to visit their then seven-year-old son two hours a week; however, the government soon cut off all visitations. The child was not only prevented from seeing his parents but also his extended family. When his grandmother died, the officials denied the boy permission to attend her funeral,” ADF International said.

In 2009, a court initially ruled that the government “was within its rights” to seize Domenic. Officials claimed he need a filling in his teeth and he hadn’t had a vaccination.

But the officials, according to ADF International, “also repeated the demonstrably false charges that homeschoolers do not perform well academically and are not well socialized.”

In November 2015, the Swedish Supreme Court refused to correct the case.

“Every child deserves to be raised by his or her mother and father. The European Convention on Human Rights requires the cutting of that bond to be the nuclear last resort. In this case, it seems to be the government’s first resort, and so we are inviting the European Court of Human Rights to intervene,” said Robert Clarke, director of European advocacy for ADF International.

“International law holds that children should grow up in an environment where their family ties are maintained, allowing them to enjoy the love, support, and nurture of their natural parents. We urge the European Court of Human Rights to accept the case and quickly have the Swedish authorities return the Johanssons’ son to their care.”

When that 2015 decision was released, prominent family attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson of the Nordic Committee on Human Rights said the decision “really isn’t surprising, because the system has to protect its power over every individual, and its prestige when they commit the basest of crimes.”

Michael Donnelly of the international Home School Legal Defense Association noted then: “This is more of the same cold, callous indifference we’ve seen in the past from the Swedish Supreme Court. This court had multiple opportunities to correct a gross injustice, and each time they have turned away.”

He said the Swedish state “has destroyed this family and, sadly, even if the court agreed to hear the case and overturn the decision – the harm has had been done is virtually irreparable.”

Commenting earlier on the case, Roger Kiska, senior counsel for ADF, said the case reveals the “hardness” of European condemnation of homeschooling, which once was exemplified by Adolf Hitler, who was among the first to ban homeschooling and require student to be under government indoctrination during their formative years.

“Domenic should have been returned long ago but for the bureaucratic hardness of the Swedish Child Protection system,” he said. “The behavior of the Swedish officials in this case has been reprehensible.”

Swedish officials have declined numerous requests to respond to WND questions.



Needing help for your home schooling journey:


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HOMESCHOOL BOY IN GOVERNMENT CUSTODY 7 YEARS: Parents fight officials in ‘last hope’ to see own son

Update 30 November from Ruby and Christer:

From  Ruby Harrold-Claesson:

We have already sent three (3) applications/complaints to the European Court of Human Rights:
1 – the violation of their freedom of movement and violation of their right to private and family life;
2 – the violation of their right to a fair trial, i e the right to choose their own lawyer and
3 – the transfer of guardianship, i e the violation of their right to private and family life.
All have been declared inadmissible.

 From Christer:

On top of the Swedish page about human rights I read the following,

Human rights are universal and apply to everyone. They state that all people, regardless of country, culture and context, are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

– – – – – – wow, sounds good doesn’t it.

We have no funds to work with anymore, so there is little we can do from here. I kept the pressure for a year on 750UDS per month, went below 120 pounds because of that. So it’s fight or eat.

They know exactly what they are doing, this is what they want, and they smile about it for sure…

Have tried pretty much everything when it comes to fighting and getting a job etc. So the question is what to do from here. Fight and die, or just live.

The actual image of Sweden should be clear now though. The country in it self, the nature and all animals is beauty, but that’s about it.

Have no clue what to do from here, neither do we have any tools to work with.



When Domenic Johansson was seven years old, he and his parents, Christer and Annie, were moving from their home in Sweden to his mother’s native India. They actually were seated aboard the jet waiting to take off.

Then Swedish police, dispatched by social workers infuriated over the family’s homeschooling, boarded the airliner, took Domenic by force and put him in the custody of the nation’s social services agency.

He’s been there since.

And he hasn’t even seen his parents since 2010, after social workers torpedoed what had been sporadic and supervised times together.

Now that nation’s Supreme Court is being asked to review what has been described as a “vicious” attack on the family, and supporters of the Johanssons say the rest of the world can chime in.

Officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association have confirmed that a lawyer working with the Johanssons is filing an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court, aided by both the HSLDA and the international Alliance Defending Freedom.

They say those who are interested in justice in the case can contribute by sending a message to the court regarding case O-4373-15 with the request that the judges grant the family’s appeal.

Contact information for the court and other details have been posted online by the HSLDA.

The organization suggests that people point out to the court that “The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights recognizes the family as the fundamental group unit of society and entitled to protection of (and from) the state.”

“Now we are asking for your help in what may be their last hope and appeal to ever be reunited with their son,” HSLDA said in a new report on the situation.

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

HSLDA outlined the history of the case: Social workers enraged by homeschooling, which was legal in Sweden at the time, used police to abduct the little boy, and then added claims of issues with his vaccinations and teeth to the complaint. Then social workers, aided by the local courts, simply kept Domenic.

“Imagine – living just miles from your child but being prevented by government authorities from seeing him at all – for years,” HSLDA said. “This is the tragic story of the Johansson family, who were homeschooling in Sweden when they decided to move to India, Annie Johansson’s home country. The three of them were seated on a jetliner in June 2009 when, moments before takeoff, police and social workers boarded the plane and seized Domenic.”

The HSLDA said the initial explanation was the family’s homeschooling.

“Later they [officials] said the parents had neglected Domenic by failing to keep his vaccinations up to date and to have cavities in his teeth,” HSLDA said.

After years of court fights, in December 2012, the courts transferred the custody rights for Domenic to the state, and the European Court of Human Rights has rejected appeals submitted to its officials.

Domenic’s parents now have left the “tenuous thread of hope” with a petition filed by Ruby Harrold-Claesson, a human rights attorney and chief of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights.

Her appeal is to the Swedish Supreme Court.

“This is a tragic case. Unfortunately, it’s not the only one I’ve dealt with in Sweden, but it is very tragic,” she told HSLDA. “Our previous victory in a lower court was so diametrically opposed to the appeals court’s ruling that this appeal should be heard. The Swedish court culture is vicious to families who are caught in it. I’m doing all I can for this family, but it is very difficult.”

“The Johansson case represents every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Mike Donnelly, the head of HSLDA’s global outreach. “Domenic should have been returned to his parents years ago, but the Swedish social services machine is pitiless and unrelenting. I can’t even imagine the pain and suffering this family has endured. HSLDA and our allies at ADF are committed to helping this family, but the outcome is doubtful absent a miracle.

Domenic and Annie Johansson

Domenic and Annie Johansson

“Even if we win, the damage done to this family by the Swedish state is unimaginable. We need our friends to pray and show solidarity with the Johanssons as we try to get the attention of the Swedish court,” he said.

A recent ruling from the international human rights body said, “The applicants had failed in their care of [Domenic], both physical and psychological.”

It claimed Domenic “had not been allowed to go to school” and was “isolated.”

But WND reported legal experts argue Swedish officials violated multiple human rights enshrined in international treaties to which the Swedish government is a party: the right of parents to direct the education of their children, family life, due process, travel and more.

“The seizure of the child without a valid court order, from a plane he was lawfully entitled to be on, the detention by the state in foster care with virtually zero contact with his family and finally the termination of parental rights is a clear violation of international human rights standards,” HSLDA founder and Chairman Michael Farris, who holds a master of law degree in public international law from the University of London, said earlier.

Swedish officials several times have declined to respond to WND questions.

When the family tried to leave Sweden in 2009 for India, the mother’s homeland, armed police stormed the plane and abducted young Domenic without a warrant or court order.

Numerous experts and attorneys have described the incident as a brazen example of “state-napping.”

When one court decision was released in Sweden in favor of the parents, government officials simply kept Domenic in custody until they were able to get it reversed.

Legal experts from around the world have told WND that the pretexts cited to seize Domenic do not stand up to scrutiny, especially because homeschooling was legal in Sweden at the time, and the right to homeschool is guaranteed under multiple human rights treaties.

“No legitimate justification has ever been produced to defend the seizure or the ongoing custody of the boy,” HSLDA said.

As WND has been reporting for years, the Johansson family is hardly alone in battling Swedish authorities for the right to homeschool.

Dozens of families have already fled abroad, including Jonas Himmelstrand, the chief of the Swedish Homeschooling Association, ROHUS, who fled to Finland with his wife and children.

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”


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Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events:


Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey:


Battle Escalates over Homeschooled Child Seized by Swedish Govt


Domenic Johansson has been separated from his family for years.


STRASBOURG, France, June 28, 2010 ( — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights Friday asking it to hear the case of a 7-year-old boy seized by Swedish authorities because his parents homeschool.

“Parents have the right and authority to make decisions regarding their children’s education without government interference,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “A government trying to create a cookie-cutter child in its own image should not be allowed to violate this basic and fundamental human right.”

“The refusal of Swedish authorities to respect that right has left us no choice but to take this case to the European Court of Human Rights.”

Swedish authorities forcibly removed Dominic Johansson from his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, in June 2009 after the family had boarded a plane to move to Annie’s home country of India. The officials did not have a warrant nor have they charged the Johanssons with any crime. The officials, say ADF lawyers, seized the child because they believe homeschooling is inappropriate and insist the government should raise Dominic instead.

Social services authorities have placed Dominic in foster care and a government school. Christer and Annie are only allowed to visit their son for one hour every five weeks.

“We are gravely concerned about this case as it represents what can happen to other home-schooling families,” explained HSLDA lawyer Mike Donnelly, one of nearly 1700 attorneys in the ADF alliance. “In response to our inquiries, Swedish authorities have cited the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child to explain and defend their actions. If the U.S. were to ever ratify this treaty, as the White House and some members of Congress have expressed a desire to do, then this sort of thing could occur here.”

ADF and HSLDA attorneys decided to file Johansson v. Sweden with the ECHR when the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden refused to review a lower court’s December 2009 ruling in Johansson v. Gotland Social Services that found that the government was within its rights to seize the child.

The lower court cited the fact that Dominic had not been vaccinated as a reason to remove him permanently from his parents and also repeated the charges that homeschoolers do not perform well academically and are not well socialized. HSLDA and ADF said that these latter charges are “probably false.”


Please share/forward this link with other home educators.


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events:


Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey:

Return Domenic Johansson to His Parents – putting pressure in Sweden

To create some more pressure in Sweden…

It say’s something like,

If the CPS didn’t exist, I would still be able to smile for real, and be able to say mom and dad for real, and I would live in a real family.

I am one of thousand children in Sweden who are living in a state of emotional torture, because of severe corruption within the CPS system.

The last thing I said to my father was, “What I fear the most is to go back to the foster family”, that was November 2010, now the connection between us is totally broken..

Plz share, and if possible, translate and copy, perhaps fix the grammar a bit.

All the best and so much more!


From the Smiths:

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events:


HSLDA: Swedish Court Rejects Homeschool Family’s Desperate Appeal


April 30, 2013

Swedish Court Rejects Homeschool Family’s Desperate Appeal

Domenic Johansson has been separated from his family for years.

How to Help

Although the Swedish Supreme Court has rejected the Johansson family’s appeal, we understand that some may wish to ask the court to reconsider their decision. Contact information and a sample message are below.

Contact information for the Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen):


Mailing address:
Högsta domstolen
Box 2066
103 12 Stockholm

A 1-oz letter from the US will cost $1.10 through the Postal Service

A letter from NZ will cost $2.40 through the Postal Service

From outside Sweden: +46 8 561 666 86

If you fax from the U.S., you will need to replace the + sign with “011” and then dial 46 8 561 666 86

If you fax from New Zealand, you will need to replace the + sign with “00” and then dial 46 8 561 666 86

From inside Sweden: 08-561 666 86

Sample Message

Re: Case Number 298-13, Annie and Christer Johansson

Mr. President and Justices of the Supreme Court,

I am writing today to urge you to take up the case of the Johansson family, case number 298-13. This is an extremely important case involving the welfare of 11-year-old Domenic Johansson who was taken from his parents in June 2009. The family has not seen their child in years. This sounds so inhuman, and we implore you in the interests of justice and humanity, please take up Christer and Annie Johansson’s case and return their child to them.

Thank you for your kind attention.


[Your name and country]

In a perfunctory order the Swedish Supreme Court rejected a desperate appeal by Christer and Annie Johansson, parents of Dominic Johansson, who was torn from his parents while minutes from take-off on an international flight as the family prepared to move to India. There were no pending criminal or civil charges at the time.

By rejecting the appeal, the court upholds an appeals court ruling that effectively terminated the parental rights of Christer and Annie Johansson. United States courts have called the termination of parental rights the family court equivalent of the death penalty.

The family had previously won a District Court judgment in June 2012. After three days of testimony that court agreed that the parents were suitable and ruled that parental rights should not be terminated.

New Evidence

According to family attorney Ruby Harold-Claesson, however, when the Social Services agency appealed they were permitted to introduce their own new psychiatric expert while the appeals court refused a request by the family to provide additional testimony and an impartial psychiatric evaluation of the child.

Based on this new evidence, the court of appeals reached a decision that was diametrically opposite that of the district court, a situation, Harrold-Claesson said, that normally prompts the Supreme Court to hear an appeal.

“It’s obvious that they haven’t even read the appeal,” Harold-Claesson told HSLDA.

“I had hoped something would change with this case, but sadly this is more of the same inhuman treatment from a ruthless system that has no regard for the rights of parents and children to be together. The court doesn’t seem to even notice how the state was permitted to introduce new evidence in the court of appeals but the Johanssons were not. In the Swedish system it seems as if individuals have no rights when they oppose the ‘almighty state’.”

Judge in Question

Harrold-Claesson also pointed out that one of the judges in the appeals court had been in charge of the administrative court system that had awarded custody to the state in 2009. He retired from that court system and was appointed to hear the parental termination hearing in the district court system, something Harrold-Claesson said should never have happened.

“I asked for the recusal of this judge because he was the chief judge in the Stockholm administrative court where all the cases for Domenic Johansson had been decided in favor of the state—how could he be impartial?” she asked.

Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s director for international affairs, said the decision is reprehensible but par for the course given the Swedish court system’s demonstrated callousness.

“We are grateful for the many people who responded to our request to send letters to the court. We are heartbroken by the court’s unwillingness to hear this case,” he said. “How can anyone respect the Swedish justice system that allows this kind of injustice to go unheard.”

Roger Kiska, the Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel in Europe, was outraged by the court’s action.

“It is beyond belief that a modern civilized country could allow such injustice to continue,” he said. “There is no evidence in the record that justifies the continued separation of this family. We will continue to fight for this family and on behalf of the principle that the European Convention condemns such acts.”

Pressing On

Donnelly vowed that the fight will continue.

“How can we give up?” he asked. “The fact that both Johanssons have survived after nearly four years without their only child is a testimony to their faith and hope. We will leave no stone unturned in helping this family plead their case, but there are few courts left to which they can turn. We ask our friends and supporters to keep this family and their legal team in their thoughts and prayers.”

Since the court has made its decision, letters and contacts to the court may no longer be effective.

However, we understand that some may wish to ask the court to reconsider their decision. The family’s lawyers are also reviewing other legal procedures that may be available to request reconsideration or to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. That court refused to hear an earlier appeal.

HSLDA has been working with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to call attention to the plight of the family. For more information, please visit our Johannson resource page or ADF’s resource page.

In the meantime you can show your support for this family at their Facebook page.

Please also sign these two petitions:



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