A demonstration will take place at the Austrian Embassy, 18 Belgrave Square in London, on 13 March 2013 at 6 p.m., to promote awareness of the tragic plight of British citizen Beth Schlesinger (nee Alexander) and her three year old twin sons Samuel and Benjamin in Vienna.
During the course of the demonstration a petition which has been signed by almost 3,000 people will be handed in to the Austrian Ambassador His Excellency Emil Brix calling on him to ensure that his country’s legal system is fair and transparent as is to be expected from a civilised western democratic EU Country.
The demonstration coincides with a reception that will be hosted at the Austrian Embassy by His Excellency Ambassador Emil Brix to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Anschluss (the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938). AJR members (Association of Jewish Refugees) have been invited with the aim of rebuilding bridges of a failed past.
Beth Alexander married Austrian Citizen Dr Michael Schlesinger in November 2006 and went to live in Vienna. In May 2009 Beth gave birth to her twin sons. In February 2010 the marriage irretrievably broke down after he tried to have her committed to a mental institution without any justification and as a result was subsequently evicted by the police from the marital home.
Following his eviction, Beth assumed parental responsibility for looking after the twins and her husband had supervised access to them for two hour periods. After twelve months he was awarded unsupervised access for the two hour periods.
During the course of legal proceedings for custody, the judge, in a shocking and wholly unexpected decision, awarded the father full and immediate custody with no visiting rights afforded to the mother.
This decision was based on a now discredited medical report and flawed arguments by the judge based on information gleaned from the internet regarding children’s welfare and development.
The judge ignored all the evidence of professionals which strongly favoured giving custody to the mother. It was eight weeks before a visiting order was put in place granting Beth very minimal access to her twin boys.
Appeals were made to the Austrian Appeal Court and the Austrian Supreme Court. The response was that his custody was reduced to temporary custody and that the case be referred back to the trial judge for further investigation as both Appeal Courts felt that the Judge had made a decision based on insufficient information. Since then (late 2011) the judge has done almost nothing in response to the appeal court’s instructions.
She has also ignored numerous applications made by Beth’s lawyer. Because of the judge’s lack of any attempt to move the case forward and many irregularities Beth’s lawyer has applied to change the judge.
This has resulted in the legal proceedings being frozen until an investigation is carried out and a decision is made with regard to the removal of the judge from the case. In the past eighteen months since the father was granted custody the children are not developing, are still in nappies and barely speak.
Beth is crying out to save her children from this terrible situation and is hoping that the petition and demonstration will highlight her plea for justice for herself and her children.
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