Massachusetts father, Colin Bower, is fighting an international custody battle with his ex-wife who has taken the couple’s two minor children to Egypt and has refused any visitation rights. Bower was granted sole custody of Ramsay and Noor following his divorce from their mother Mirvat el Nady in 2008. On August 9, 2009, Bower handed the boys over to Nady for a week long visitation. On August 11, she boarded a flight with Ramsay and Noor using Egyptian passports bearing the name “Power” to get them on the plane. Bower contacted police and Nady was listed on Interpol as a fugitive wanted for U.S and international warrants for kidnapping. An Egyptian court granted Bower twice-monthly visitation with the boys in Egypt, however these visits have not been honored by Nady. Senator John Kerry has written three letters to Egyptian government officials requesting the children be put on a flight back to the U.S. Bower hopes that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton puts pressure on Mubarak to return his children to the United States. Full Article
International Parental Abduction occurs when a parent leaves a country with a child or children in violation of a custody decree or visitation order. This may occur when a parent takes a child on vacation to a foreign country and fails to return. While the number of cases of international parental abduction is small in comparison to domestic cases, they are often the most difficult to resolve due to the involvement of conflicting international jurisdictions. Even when there is a treaty agreement for the return of a child, the court may be reluctant to return the child if the return could result in the permanent separation of the child from their primary caregiver. This could occur if the abducting parent faced criminal prosecution or deportation by returning to the child’s home country. The International Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted from one member nation to another. Egypt is not a party to this Conference.
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