United Kingdom: Legal Intimidation in the Florin Barbu Case

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Not only is Florin Barbu being threatened with jail time by proceedings in the London Borough of Haringey family court for posting pictures of his children and information about the homosexual couple who is trying to adopt his children, but now the lawyers against Mr Barbu have taken it to the next level.

Threatening letters went out to Facebook users on the other side of the world who shared Mr Barbu’s posts, asking them to seek urgent legal advice because they are being taken to court. 

Following his children’s confiscation by the British CPS, Florin Barbu has not seen them in over a year. He protested his children’s upcoming forced adoption with an 18 day hunger strike in France in front the European Court of Human Rights, but his failing health caused him to stop the hunger strike and continue a regular protest.

He has been posting videos everyday updating a large following on Facebook about how the system is stacked against him, defying family court orders to not post pictures of his children.

There are many things gone wrong in this case, but this latest intimidation tactic toward random Facebook users who are not even under British jurisdiction seems comical.

First of all, the children in question are not British citizens. They are Romanian citizens and they should be returned to the Romanian government who can place them with family. It is unclear at this time whether significant proceedings have begun on behalf of the Romanian government to recuperate their citizens.

Second, Mr. Barbu is being threatened with jail by a UK court, but he is not in the UK. He is protesting in France, hoping that the ECofHR or some European Union body will help expose his case and help him at least get the children back to their mother.

Third, there is this little concept called freedom of speech, a basic human right still in effect on social media sites. As far as I know. I see people sharing videos of Muslims decapitating Christians in Syria, all kinds of rants against authority, indecent content, etc, without being censored… but now people are being sanctioned for exercising their freedom of expression on the internet? People are being taken to court because they shared a post on Facebook?

This actually shows the weakness of the UK CPS, a similar weakness found in the Norwegian Barnevernet. They are afraid of exposure. They are afraid that people will start digging into their proceedings and find children are being confiscated without merit. They are afraid that the ECofHR will pick up their cases and the world is going to find out about human rights violations.

In the wake of the Bodnariu victory, the Romanian government needs to step up and help Florin Barbu recover his children.

22 comments on “United Kingdom: Legal Intimidation in the Florin Barbu Case

  1. Is Florin Barbu the legal guardian of the children or is Florin Barbu the legal guardian of the children? As far as I know there is no binding judgement yet on depriving him from parent’s rights made by appeal court, is there?

    I think that is the major question. As the legal guardian of the children, Florin has the right to publish pictures and to give permission to distribute them.

    These cases if won by those lawyers in the UK should end up in Strasbourg.

  2. Britain seems to have gone far down the road away from freedom of speech, in other areas than the CPS-related too. You might look up the case – it must be 10 years old now? – about science writer Simon Singh, who wrote that some claims of I think it was scientologists or was it osteopaths (but I may be mistaken) were unproven, was taken to court and lost, and was going to bring the judgment against him to Strasbourg (the European Court of Human Rights). But then the people who had won against him understood that their whole profession went down in public estimation because they blocked free speech – even about scientific evidence! – in this way (it was spreading like wildfire through the international scientific communities), so I think they backed down.
       I haven’t followed the development (if there is any) in Britain over the last years, but at one stage anybody, in any part of the world, might bring a case for defamation, libel against somebody else – say the conflict happened in Timbuctoo – to court IN BRITAIN, and likely get the a verdict against the other person involving the paying of costs. This madness of “globalism” in Britain went so far that in the USA, for one, it was made official that such British judgments were unenforceable in USA. I think some Congress representatives had taken action, to prevent British law and British courts from sort of establishing “universality”.
       When added to this Britain has very strict laws against parents’ even speaking about their CPS case, we arrive at the present situation for Florin. I am not in the least surprised. Once again: Look at what senior writer for The Telegraph Christopher Booker has written about British CPS cases and conditions.

    • UK has also ratified European Convention for Human Rights.

      In case of a grounded suspicion of abuse of authority the parents should be allowed free speech on the child welfare cases due to international law, which takes priority over domestic laws.

      However, domestic courts are likely not to bother with a topic — especially if there is no precedent from Strasbourg.

      When I will have some more time I will try to dig a little in HUDOC database of European Court for Human Rights.

    • Again, ECHR requires any restrictions on freedom of expression to be necessary in a democratic society. Article 10 says:
      “1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right
      shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
      information and ideas without interference by public authority
      and regardless of frontiers.
      This Article shall not prevent States
      from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema
      enterprises.
      2.
      The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

      In case of a grounded suspicion of abuse of authority, it is necessary to allow freedom of expression in the interests of maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary. There might be only very strong reasons of national security or public safety which could temporarily ovveride interests of maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
      Against, finding the right balance between all the human rights is the only way to go. Playing human rights against each other without aiming a right balance leads to a total lack of legal certainity and to chaos.

    • Actually this case is a little more complicated due to the court orders.
      I wonder if there is an appeal against those court orders going on — which could also end up in Strasbourg.
      In cae there is an appeal going on, any criminal procedures on not following the court orders should be suspended.

      • The Barbu case is not straight forward like the Bodnariu case. Florin and his ex wife have split and there were domestic disputes. The lawyers are claiming that Florin and his FB friends are harassing the presumptive adoptive couple by posting their names and email on FB. What is interesting is that they want Florin to stop posting pictures of his children even though he is still their legal father/guardian.

        • I understand that — however I really cannot understand how prospective adopters could be allowed even to intervene in a case between child welfare and the father who is still legal guardian. Simply allowing them in is I think an evidence of bias, compared to European Court of Human Rights’ views on forced adoption.
          I would say prospective adopters should be quiet with respect to the family’s actions until there is a binding forced adoption — if necessary, approved at Appeals Court level. They should understand that their final adoption is last resort of the last resort only. (Last resort = forced foster care at all — even temporily, last resort of last resort = forced permanent adoption).

  3. “Third, there is this little concept called freedom of speech, a basic human right still in effect on social media sites. As far as I know. I see people sharing videos of Muslims decapitating Christians in Syria, all kinds of rants against authority, indecent content, etc, without being censored…”

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on this case. Very good points are made here. I’m pretty sure you are speaking of a certain entity but let me verify this since you linked the two:

    “Threatening letters went out to Facebook users on the other side of the world who shared Mr Barbu’s posts, asking them to seek urgent legal advice because they are being taken to court. ”

    These are lawyers from the U.K. CPS?

    This is crazy. I would guess that no such lawsuit has ever won, or we would have courtrooms across the world filled with litigation.

  4. Pingback: United Kingdom: Legal Intimidation in the Florin Barbu Case – Revista ARMONIA – Saltmin Media

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  6.   
    I see an entry of 5 August on the Agnus Dei blog that there are two demonstrations planned in Spain for the Barbu children Diana and Andy, against British CPS:

    PROTEST Pro Diana and Andy Barbu 17 SEP & 08 OCT. 2016 in MADRID, Spain
    https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/protest-pro-diana-and-andy-barbu-17-sep-08-oct-2016-in-madrid-spain/

    Very good that protests are being planned.
    It is a pity, though, that the Agnus Dei blog (or maybe it’s somebody else who has blanked out the children’s eyes) and so many others in countries whose authorities want to keep their ‘protection’ of children hidden and unpublicised, have yielded to the pressure of not publishing the children’s faces properly. This way of giving in is a signal to authorities that the public accepts their ‘reasons’, and anyway that the authorities can succeed with pressure and threats. The contention that the children must be protected by not showing their faces and not letting anyone know that they are the ones against whom the authorities are carrying out great injustices, should be rejected; it is spurious.

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