PRESS RELEASE – Marius and Ruth Bodnariu

PRESS RELEASE – 26.12.2015

Recent international press articles, those covering the Marius & Ruth Bodnariu case in Norway, contain certain misinterpreted and inaccurately documented information and events. This press release rectifies these misstatements and can be used as an informational starting point for future articles and broadcasts.

  • Purpose of the protests in Romania, Europe, and USA.

1. Protest against the abuses perpetrated by the Barnevernet

Marius & Ruth Bodnariu (“Parents”), together with their Romanian-Norwegian children (“Children”), have lived in Norway for the past 10 years. Their Children (Eliana 9, Naomi 7, Matthew 5, John 2, and Ezekiel 4 months) are also Romanian citizens. Marius has a Master’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering & Applied Informatics from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and works in the Redal, Naustdal Hall as the IT lead responsible for the entire village School District; a school district covering 10 communities and 50 schools. Ruth is a Registered Nurse working in the Pediatric Ward of the Norde Central Hospital.

On Monday, November 16, 2015, Norwegian child protection services (“Barnevernet”) confiscated the 4 oldest Bodnariu children (and baby Ezekiel the following day) and immediately placed them in 3 separate foster homes, without any prior investigations or psychosocial and emotion assessments of the Children. The process of confiscating the Bodnariu children started when the Vevring School Principal (“Principal”), the middle school attended by Eliana and Naomi, called the Barnevernet and expressed her concerns regarding the girls’ religious upbringing, her understanding that the girls are being disciplined at home, and that she considers the parents and grandmother to be radical Christians; an overriding concern that the principal’s perception of the Parents’ and grandmother’s religious beliefs inhibit and handicap the girls’ development. In the same call to the Barnevernet, the Principal stressed that she was only requesting the Barnevernet’s counseling services, as the girls are intelligent and creative, and that she, the Principal, doesn’t believe that the girls are being physically abused at home. This same Principal had previously scolded and categorically forbid one of the Bodnariu girls from singing as a result of the girl singing a Christian song to her schoolmates.

Upon receiving this aforementioned call from the Principal, the Barnevernet filed a claim, alleging family violence, against the Parents without ever informing Marius & Ruth. On November 16, the Naustdal Barnevernet (the local district of the Barnevernet) initiated the confiscation of the Bodnariu Children and the arrest and interrogation of the Parents. The Barnevernet confiscated the girls from school and together, with local police, confiscated the two older boys from the family home. Ruth was arrested at the family home, Marius was arrested while at work, and both were separately escorted to the local police station for interrogation. The Parents were interrogated separately and Marius, not a Norwegian citizen, was not provided a lawyer or a translator throughout the entire duration of his interrogation. After a few hours of interrogation, the police discharged the Parents, along with baby Ezekiel, as the Police did not consider the Parents to be dangerous. In the discharge process, the police clarified that the Parents will be receiving follow-up communication that will explain what is taking place.

Authorities illegally arrested the Parents without informing the Parents of the allegations or evidence warranting such extreme aggressions. Furthermore, the Parents were coerced into complying without legal counsel with the assurance that their cooperation in this manner would result in a positive outcome for their family and them.

On November 17, contrary to the optimistic assurances provided in the Parents’ interrogation, the Barnevernet, together with local police, also confiscated baby Ezekiel from the family home.

The Barnevernet, a non-tribunal government organization, held a hearing at its local office and ruled against the Parents while accusing them of physically abusing their children. The Barnevernet ordered extensive medical examination of the children, as there was no evidence to support the allegations of physical abuse, but the medical reports emphasized that there was no sign of physical or mental abuse. The Barnevernet upholds its decision solely on what it claims is the testimony of the Children, testimony that remains unproven and contradicts itself, and on this foundation has ruled that (1) the Parents can only see baby Ezekiel 2 times per week for 2 hours at a time, (2) only Ruth is allowed to see the boys, Matthew and John, once a week, and that (3) neither Parent is allowed to see the girls; the Parents have not seen the girls since November 16.

It is unclear how the children were interrogated, whether a psychologist was present and how the Children’s’ testimony was obtained, as the Children’s interrogation took place without the participation of a lawyer, representing the Parents, to ensure that rules and regulations governing interrogations of a minor were honored; interrogation to be effectuated without the risk of inflicting psycho-emotional trauma on the minors.

Marius & Ruth have not received any alert or warning from the authorities in which they, as parents, were made aware of any deficiencies in the raising and/or educating of their children until they were interrogated, after their arrest, by the police on November 16.

The Barnevernet has itself violated the principle of the “best interest of the child” by not investigating and evaluating the impact of the forced separation, from their Parents and siblings, on the Children.

Currently, the Children are unjustly dispersed and held in three separate foster care homes; foster care homes in 2 different cities, each at least 3.5 hours away from the family home. It has been documented that the Children insist they miss their Parents and want to return home but the Barnevernet continues to deny these recorded pleas. Paradoxically, in their meeting with the Parents on December 15, the Barnevernet told the Parents that it wants to get to know them better and to evaluate them in February 2016 but that it, the Barnevernet, would nonetheless continue adoption proceedings for all 5 of the Bodnariu children.

We would like to bring to your attention that there are still a number of unclear, unexplainable, and unaddressed points relating to the way in which the 5 Bodnariu children were confiscated:

– violation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1980; specifically referring to articles 5, 8, 9, 14, 18, 20 (line 3), and 30

– extreme and abusive force by the Barnevernet

– lack of any previous social investigation

– lack of any investigation evaluating the impact, of the forced separation from their parents and siblings and placement into 3 different foster care homes, on the Children

– Barnevernet’s lack of transparency

– interrogation without a lawyer and translator; thereby undermining the right to a defense

– coercion into not contacting the Romanian embassy

– no evidence of physical or mental abuse

– delaying the translation of all documents in Romanian; a translation mandated by law

– mother is not allowed to nurse her 3-month old child except 2 times per week

– Barnevernet coerced the mother (Ruth) to lie and declare that the father (Marius) is abusive by promising to return the children to her (Ruth)

– Barnevernet threatening Marius that he will never see his Children again if he goes public with this case; a threat from Barnevernet representatives clearly representing blackmail

– forced separation of the Children into foster care homes in different cities at least 3.5 hours away from home, including the yet nursing 3-month old baby despite the fact that the Parents’ lawyer identified a more appropriate foster care home for the baby closer to the family home

– manipulating the Children with leading questions designed to inculpate the parents

Such methods and posturing remind us Romanians of the tactics employed by the former governing totalitarian communist regime in Romania. It is this recognition that sustains us in our accusing the Barnevernet, and implicitly the Kingdom of Norway in its complicity, of flagrant violation of family and human rights, of threats and intimidation against the Bodnariu family and their lawyers (some of which remain without license to practice), and of attempts to silence and restrict freedom of religious expression.

2. Display of solidarity of support for, and alongside of, Marius & Ruth Bodnariu

We denounce the irrational and abusive actions against a normal and responsible family that has provided for a propitious environment in which to raise its 5 children. Marius & Ruth are integrated in society, and adding value to their community by the nature of their profession, without ever having initiated, or carried out, immoral or illegal acts.

3. Display of solidarity with other families of similar experiences

Families from Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, Brazil, India, Russia, and the Czech Republic.

  • Documentation release

Due to the conditions of confidentiality established by the Norwegian legislature, the family of Marius & Ruth Bodnariu is not permitted to make public any official documents or transcripts.

Daniel Bodnariu


Protest at The Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania

Sambata, 19 Decembrie 2015, ora 12:00 – 15:00
  • Saturday December 19th, 2015 between: 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm
Locatia: Ambasada Norvegiei, Str. Atena nr 18, Sector 1 Bucuresti
  • Location: Norwegian Embassy, Atena Street, No 18, Sector 1, Bucharest


Familia Bodnariu, cu sprijinul Aliantei Familiilor din Romania (AFR) si Asociatiei Politistilor Crestini din Romania (APC) va organiza un protest autorizat in fata Ambasadei Norvegiei la Bucuresti, Sambata, 19 Decembrie, intre orele 12:00 – 15:00. Toti cei interesati sa sprijine familia Marius si Ruth Bodnariu si recuperarea celor 5 copii confiscati de catre autoritatile norvegiene sunt invitati sa se alature acestui demers autorizat, pasnic.
  • The Bodnariu family, with the support of the Romanian Family Alliance and the Association of Christian Police in Romania, will hold an authorized protest in front of the Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest on Saturday December 19, starting at 12:00 noon. All those interested in supporting the family of Marius and Ruth Bodnariu, and the recovery of their 5 children confiscated by the Norwegian “child protection” services (Barnevernet) are invited to join in this peaceful and authorized endeavor.

Scopul protestului/The goal of the protest

Prin acest protest in fata Ambasadei Norvegiei la Bucuresti dorim sa atragem atentia asupra abuzurilor facute de Barnevernet (Protectia Copilului din Norvegia) in cazul familiei Marius si Ruth Bodnariu si in cazul zecilor de familii ai caror copii au fost confiscati de catre aceasi institutie in ultimii ani. Norvegia, Europa si intreaga lume trebuie sa cunoasca dramele pe care Barnevernet le produce in randul familiilor prin abuzurile pe care le face. Autoritatile norvegiene trebuie sa primeasca acest mesaj si sa intervina institutional pentru a stopa metodele folosite de catre aceasta institutie de “protectie a copilului”, metode prin care distrug familia, deopotriva parintii si copiii.

  • To draw attention to the abuses made by the Barnevernet against Marius & Ruth Bodnariu and many other families whose children were seized by the same institution. Norway, Europe, and the rest of the world must be made aware of the trauma and grief that the Barnevernet inflicts upon families, through its abusive and manipulative tactics. Norwegian authorities should receive this message and intervene to halt the actions and methods used by this so called „child protection” institution to destroy the family, parents as well as children

In data de 16 Noiembrie 2015 toti cei 5 copii ai familiei Marius si Ruth Bodnariu, cu varste cuprinse intre 3 luni – 9 ani au fost luati in mod abuziv si nejustificat din sanul familiei in urma unui denunt facut de directoarea scolii unde merg cele doua fete mari, denunt care exprima ingrijorari legate de educatia religioasa pe care copiii o primesc in familie, dar un denunt care nu sustine in niciun fel evidenta vreunui abuz fizic sau psihic si care nu indica faptul ca exista un pericol iminet privind siguranta copiilor. In aceste circumstante nu se justifica o actiune radicala si in forta a Barnevernet. Actiunile acestei institutii sfideaza orice mod de gandire rational si uman, denotand doar abuzul de putere pe care il practica atat in cazul familiei Bodnariu, cat si in cazul altor zeci de familii.

  • On November 16th of this year five children, ages 3 months to 9 years old, have been taken away from their family in an abusive and in an unjustified manner following a denouncement made by the school principal where the older girls are attending, a denouncement with a religious tint that doesn’t support at all any evidence of family abuse or any sort of endangerment in order to explain this institution’s radical and brute action. Its behavior defies any way of rational or human thinking, it only denotes abuse of power, an abuse that this institution is continuing to show and has shown in many similar cases.

La acest moment, copiii sunt tinuti nejustificat in trei familii surogat, iar in data de 15 Decembrie 2015, in urma unei întalniri cu Barnevernet, parintilor li s-a comunicat ca autoritarea de protectie a copilului vrea să ii cunoască mai bine si sa-i consilieze abia in luna Februarie 2016, dar ca in acelasi timp demareaza procedura de adoptie pentru toti cei 5 copii ai familie.

De asemenea, acest protest are menirea de a transmite un mesaj de solidaritate cu Marius si Ruth Bodnariu, parinti care si-au educat copiii in spirit moral, crestin, o familie care isi doreste ca cei 5 copii pe care ii iubeste, sa ii fie dati inapoi de catre autoritatile norvegiene cat mai curand.

  • To convey a message of solidarity with Marius and Ruth Bodnariu: parents who have offered their children a good moral and Christian education, and a Christian family who wants the return of their five children by the Norwegian authorities as soon as possible.
In vederea desfasurarii in cele mai bune conditii a protestului pentru sprijinirea familei Marius si Ruth Bodnariu, va rugam sa tineti cont de urmatoarele aspecte privind conduita participarii la protest. Actiunea noastra va fi una publica, mediatizata prin intermediul presei, a internetului si de aceea va invitam sa ne insusim urmatoarele aspecte:
  • In order to ensure the effectiveness of this protest, please consider the following aspects regarding the conduct of those willing to participate. Our actions will be publicized through the media, Internet, and social media; therefore, we invite you to adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Acces la locatie/Location
* mai jos veti gasi o harta cu locatia unde va avea loc protestul, indicatii de orientare, de transport
* la statia de metrou “Piata Victoriei” (cea indicata pe harta) se vor afla persoane cu banderole de culoare alba ce va vor ghida spre locatia protestului
  • below you will find a map of the protest site, as well as directions, and available ways of transportation
  • at the metro station „Victory Square” (as indicated on the map) you will be greeted by people wearing white bands , who will guide you to the protest location

2. Atitudine/Attitude

* vom fi punctuali

* vom manifesta pasnic, dand dovada de educatie si principii crestine

* vom comunica intre noi politicos, fara iesiri zgomotoase * nu ne vom facem poze, selfie, nu vom intra in polemici cu trecatorii

* vom respecta atat indicatiile organizatorilor, cat si a fortelor de ordine (daca este cazul)

* nu vom scanda lozinci decat la initiativa organizatorilor

* orice initiativa personala va fi comunicata organizatorilor

* vom purta haine potrivite pentru acest demers si in concordanta cu starea vremii * vom pastra curatenia in jurul nostru                                                                                                                                                                 

  • we will be punctual
  • we will be peacefully protesting in accordance with our Christian principles
  • all communication between us will be made quietly, and politely
  • we will not take pictures, selfies, and we will not enter into conversations with any of those observing the protest
  • we will respect and follow the instructions given by the protest organizers and the security forces (if applicable)
  • we will display placards provided by the organizers * any personal initiative will be communicated to the organizers
  • we will wear clothes suitable for this approach and suitable for the weather
  • we will maintain cleanliness around us

3. Materiale/Materials

* vom avea pancarte cu mesaje de sustinere pe care le vom distribui la fata locului

* in subsolul acestui anunt sunt disponibile materiale, daca doriti sa le descarcati si sa le printati dvs. (va recomandam sa le printati in format A4, A3, color)

* la plecare, materialele/pancartele se vor preda organizatorilor

  • the organizers will have placards of support for the protest, which will be distributed on the spot
  • also, following this announcement (below these instructions) there are materials available for downloading; you can print them yourself (I recommend that you print in A4, A3, color)
  • upon your departure from the protest, please return the materials / placards to your organizers

4. Relatia cu presa/ Media Communication        

 * DOAR persoanele mandatate vor acorda interviuri

 * eventuale solicitari de interviuri vor fi directionate catre Daniel Bodnariu

  • ONLY appointed people will grant interviews. Please direct ALL media to: Daniel Bodnariu
Ne dorim ca acest protest sa-si atinga scopul, fara a fi perturbat de evenimente neplacute sau de catre persoane care se afla acolo pentru alt motiv. Ne bazam pe ageritatea si intelepciunea dvs. pentru a evita situatii de acest gen.
  • We would like to ensure that this protest reaches its purpose, without being interrupted or ended by unpleasant events, or due to people that show up for personal reasons, other than for showing support for the Bodnariu family. In order to avoid such situations, we rely on your wisdom and collaboration.
Va multumim pentru ca sunteti alaturi de noi in toate aceste demersuri si in acelasi timp continuam sa ne si rugam ca familia Marius si Ruth Bodnariu sa fie reunita cu cei 5 copii.
  • Thank you for joining us in this protest, while continuing to pray for the reunion of Marius and Ruth Bodnariu with their 5 little children.


Statia de metrou/Metro station “Piata Victoriei”; Autobuz/Bus: 205, 783, 300, 381