An Eastbourne father is facing an international legal battle after his five-week-old son was abducted by his mother to Lithuania before Christmas.
Saad Sinjary has not seen baby Oscar since December 10 when his partner Ruta Gadliauskaite left Eastbourne for her native country without warning taking their little boy with her.
Saad, an Iraqi national who has indefinite leave to be in the UK, has contacted Eastbourne Police, Interpol, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, human rights groups, Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd and the Lithuanian and Iraqi embassies. But the 37-year-old says he is becoming increasingly frustrated that little has been done by the authorities in his bid to get his son back to the UK. Saad and 24-year-old Ruta were together for three years and Oscar was born on November 5 last year. He believes Ruta suffered post natal depression after the birth of Oscar and became anxious because she could not cope with a young baby. He took Ruta to Eastbourne Railway Station as she said she was going to London to visit a friend but later discovered she had left the country with baby Oscar.
“I was and still am absolutely devastated,” said Saad, who works at the DGH. “My little boy was just 35 days old when he was taken without my permission or me knowing anything about it. I just want somebody to help me try and get him back. I need to see him.”
Saad has contacted his former partner by email at her parents’ home in Panevėžys but she maintains she will not return to Eastbourne.
He has also been in touch with the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit and Reunite, the national charity which provides advice and support for parents whose children are abducted by another parent. “I feel really disappointed that no one seems able to help me,” he said. “I don’t know what I have to do to bring my child back to the UK, I just can’t wait any more to see my only baby. I need some help.”
Paul Summerbell at Warren Law and Advocacy in Gildredge Road is representing Mr Sinjary and told the Herald, “Abduction cases are always difficult and generate great anxiety.
“Mr Sinjary has taken all the right steps in getting expert legal advice and by contacting the ICACU which has taken up the case. Lithuania is a signatory to the Child Protection Convention. Countries vary as to the seriousness with which they regard such cases and in Lithuania, where there is no equivalent of the ICACU.
“Mr Sinjary is not entitled to any UK Legal Aid to help with the case in Lithuania and waits to hear whether he can get legal help in that country to pursue a case there.”