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Children's ombudsman demands evidence from Netherlands of diplomat's mistreating children

October 08, 2013, 17:25 UTC+3

Armed persons in fatigues broke into minister counsellor Dmitry Borodin's apartment last weekend and severely beat him up under a far-fetch pretext of bad treatment of children

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MOSCOW, October 8 (Itar-Tass) - Russian children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov plans to demand from the Netherlands the evidence of minister counsellor Dmitry Borodin's maltreating his children, following an attack on the Russian diplomat in the Hague.

"The authorities, after making sure that he was a diplomat, had to acknowledge his immunity and pass all the information to the leadership of the Russian foreign ministry," Astakhov told Russia 24 Channel. "If there are reasons to suspect and accuse the diplomat of cruel treatment of children, Russia will handle the issue. If the accusations are confirmed we'll find a way to influence the offender, but instead of a just legal investigation, a diplomatic scandal occurred with grossest violations of basic international agreements."

The ombudsman, jointly with the Russian Foreign Ministry, continues to monitor the situation looking into the circumstances of the incident. "As for my competence, we'll demand the evidence of children’s being maltreated. If there were reasons, such as repeated reports, complaints from school or neighbors, we'll look into it," he said.

Protection of children from all forms of violence and cruel treatment, including family violence, is an absolute priority not only for the Netherlands but also for Russia and the USA. And yet, the authorities’ response to such situations is too tough. "This pretext gives no reasons for gross violation of the constitutional guarantees protecting the inviolability of home and family rights to privacy or diplomatic and international principles and treaties and consular conventions. In case of receiving a signal, police and the children protection service should check whose house they are breaking into and the limits of their interference. After making sure that the person in question is a diplomat, they have to inform his superiors: ambassador /consult general/ and explain the claims," Astakhov said.

Dutch Ambassador to Moscow Ron van Dartel was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier on Tuesday in connection with the attack on Dmitry Borodin in the Hague. Moscow sharply protested the incident to the Hague.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said "armed persons in fatigues broke into minister counsellor Dmitry Borodin's apartment last weekend and severely beat him up under a far-fetch pretext of bad treatment of children." The diplomat was beaten up before his children's eyes.

He was attacked after he warned the intruders about his diplomatic status, Lukashevich said. "It's common knowledge that a diplomat's dwelling is inviolable."

"Borodin was handcuffed and taken to a police station where he was kept for the whole night," the spokesman went on. "Then he was released without any explanations or apology."

The attack is not just a gross violation of international norms and rules, but also of provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Russian Embassy in the Hague is looking into the circumstances of this illegal act, according to the spokesman.

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