The Left Social Activist Sergey Pchelintsev Deprived of His Three Children for Being Poor
| On February, 12 officials of a number of city executive authority bodies at once have come to the room where the Dzerzhinsk city inhabitant Sergey Pchelintsev’s family lived – of the Dzerzhinsk administration Tutorship and Curatorship department, of the local Internal Affairs Department Minor Commission and of the Social Protection Administration. They have even taken local TV employees with them.
Zealous child-protectors have arranged a demonstrative taking-off of three small children: Maksim, born in 2006, Anna, born in 2007, and tiny Dasha, born in Autumn 2009, from Pchelintsev and his spouse Lidia Buzanova. Contrary to requirements of the Article 77 of the Family Code of RF, the authority representatives performed taking-off the children without presenting a relevant city administration’s act to their parents.
If you think that, according to family legislation, officials have saved children having found themselves in an extreme situation – in a nest of alcoholics or drug-consumers, mentally disabled or simply indifferent to their children’s fate parents – you are completely mistaken.
Sergey and Lidia lead an absolutely normal, sober, healthy life. They love their children and take care of them. They found themselves guilty only because they bacame a large family in our Motherland. While taking off the children, the officials flung off cynically: “It is tidy in your room but too POOR”.
Indeed, Sergey does his best to support his large family. Isn’t it notable that they live in Russian province where low income is common for most population even having a job? Pchelintsev’s average month income is 10-11 thousand roubles, that is hardly sufficient for a family of five. His wife has to sit with babies – the eldest child is only three years old, even not speaking about necessity to take care of her newborn daughter. By Sergey’s words, his retired mother sometimes arrives and helps his wife. Sergey and Lidia have no other close relatives.
However, while pursuing children’s rights and interests compliance, the authorities did not make any effort to find out reasons of the very poverty they had charged Pchelintsev and Buzanova of, having arranged an act of lawlessness. If applied to the tax office where Sergey files his income-tax return regularly, they would have understood the very sum the housefather could earn his honest penny. The officials did not offer Pchelintsev any high-paid job and, certainly, won’t offer. Normally, this family should have enjoyed all measures of state support. Anyway, it is so the Russian Constitution principles declare. The Constitution of RF in its Article 19 has assigned the principle of equality of human and civil rights and freedoms notwithstanding his/her material position; any discrimination on criteria of social belonging is prohibited. The Article 39 part 1 of the Constitution of RF guarantees social security for bringing up children and in other cases prescribed by law, to everybody. The essence of this civil right is concluded in guarantee from the state’s part and rendering assistance in the view of birth and bringing up of children.
But it is characteristic that this low-income large family does not receive ANY welfare prescribed by regulatory act, including those by federal privileges for families becoming large. By Sergey’s words, they are denied even rendering free infant food for the newborn child. Such position of the Dzerzhinsk Social protection administration is explained by its employees to Pchelintsev with absurd reasons of all kinds. Perhaps, Sergey was not persistent enough demanding the prescribed benefits. But a prospective of camping on judicial and official doorsteps does not seem brilliant if it is necessary to earn one’s living every day. But, while demonstrating “protection” of babies which took place on February 12, the social employee was already there.
All the state’s assistance to this family was – an individual room alloted to the family. A single one for all them, and, by Sergey’s words, a “second-hand” one. I.e., far from condition of complete renovation. This notable event has happened literally a month ago. Today, having visited the tutorship department, the procesutor office and a lot of other instances, Sergey has heard much interesting, among all – officials’ explanations that he had had to make cosmetic repairs of his rendered room. Because small children should not live in such room as the state had alloted to him.
Ii is clear that officials have to report on the work they conducted during the “Year of Family” or any next program for maternity and childhood protection announced from the top-down. Let us leave “offscreen” the question where the budget funds alloted to these very programs go – theses very funds seem to be located “offscreen”, too. It is much more simple to fill orphanages with new pupils and baby-houses with a next baby torn-off from mother’s and father’s love and care; it is quite clear that hired nurses are not able to replace parents.
However, Mssrs officials would never apply to their own children the destiny prepared by them to three-year-old Maksim, two-year-old Anya and newborn Dasha. They have different mentality.
Certainly, a natural question arises – why was it Pchelintsev’s family which was chosen for these “reports”?
Indeed, it was not casual. Sergey Pchelintsev is a political activist, he has left views but does not belong to any parties. In November and December 2009 he spoke several times at picket lines which took place in Dzerzhinsk. He spoke on what he had come upon himself every day – on unemployment, poverty and on illegal fires of Nizhny Novgorod automobile plant GAZ workers and on rapacious pension reforms. After those speeches, in last December, Pchelintsev was invited to the Nizhny Novgorod region “E” center (the Department for fighting extremism). As Sergey told, during the conversation the officers, threatened him with outrage, offered him to “work” as a non-staff intelligencer, demanded that he stops speaking at any civil actions. Among other threats, a promise sounded to create problems to his family.
After this conversation Pchelintsev composed a hand-written complaint and brought it to the leadership of the regional Internal Affairs department. As is evident, the response on his complaint was not long in coming.
Nowadays Pchelintsev’s and Buzanova’s children are in the city children’s hospital. And although the law does not contain any prohibition for parents’ meetings with taken-off children until they are deprived or limited in their parental rights, Sergey and Lidia are not allowed to see their children. Within 7 days after taking-off children from the family, the tutorship authorities are obliged to sue at the court for deprivation or limitation of parental rights for taken-off children.
Today Pchelintsev was orally advised to prepare for such trial proceedings. Moreover, by the officials’ words the understood that the proceedings result was already well-known: Pchelintsev and Buzanova would be limited in their parental rights for all their children. And later they would be deprived of parental rights if they don’t make the room repair and don’t buy extra toys, books, an infant bed and infant food within 1 month. It is notable that the family law prescribes a term of half a year for such “elimination of disadvantages”.
It is probable, too, that because of “telephone justice” which “offended” by Sergey’s complaint law-enforcement servicemen may resort to, Pchelintsev and Buzanova would not be allowed to use this last opportunity to return their children.
It is worthy of note that each child has a right to live and to be brought up in the family, a right to know his parents, a right for their care, a right for living together with them. A child has the rights for bringing up by his/her parents, guarantee of his/her interests, comprehensive development, respect to his/her human dignity (Article 54 of the Family Code of RF).
According to the Article 27 part 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all the participating states (including Russia), according to their national conditions within their opportunities, take necessary measures for rendering assistance to parents and other persons bringing up children in realization of this right and, if necessary, render material assistance and support programs, first of all concerning guarantee of nutrition, clothes and housing.
The next family would suffer of ubiquitous Russian lawlessness if civil and human rights activists, mass media representatives and, in general, all indifferent to someone else’s troubles citizens don’t interfere into the situation.
Pchelintsev’s family needs urgent information and legal support, expression of social protest against illegal and inhuman actions of Dzerzhinsk “child-protectors”, and material assistance.
More information can be acquired, and support and assistance can be offered by Sergey Pchelintsev’s contact phone: +7(908)239-60-33
Parcels with infant toys, books, clothes, non-perishable food and financial funds for help to Pchelintsev’s family may be directed to the following address:
Sergey Aleksandrovich Pchelintsev
Dzerzhinsk Nizhny Novgorod region 606024 Russia
Protest letters may be addressed to the following offices:
- to the Dzerzhinsk city administration of Nizhny Novgorod region
Official e-mail: email@example.com
The Department for social contacts and work with citizens’ applications: +7(8313)25-51-46, 25-58-80, 26-01-55
The Press service department: +7(8313)25-63-14, 25-94-51
Dzerzhinsky square, 1
Dzerzhinsk Nizhny Novgorod region 606000 Russia
- to Dzerzhinsk social protection administration of the Nizhny Novgorod regional Department for social protection, labour and employment
Pobedy str., 6
Dzerzhinsk Nizhny Novgorod region 606000 Russia
- to Dzerzhinsk city Prosecutor office of Nizhny Novgorod region
Matrosova str., 57
Dzerzhinsk Nizhny Novgorod region 606036 Russia
- to the Nizhny Novgorod regional ombudsman Vasily Vasilievich Olnev
Reception office tel./fax (office No. 86): +7(831)419-73-55
The Kremlin, building 2, office 86
Nizhny Novgorod 603082 Russia
Leading Specialist of "The Committee For Civil Rights"