French father occupies crane to publicise custody battle
Serge Charnay looks out from a crane on February 17, 2013 after spray painting the message " Save our children from the justice" in Nantes on the third day of a protest for his rights as a father. A second man yesterday climbed another crane in "an act of solidarity" with Charnay, an action sanctioned by French association "SOS Papa" indicating that the two men are" victims of family justice in France" . AFP PHOTO / FRANK PERRY
In a desperate act of protest, a father in France’s western city of Nantes has mounted a 40-metre crane two years after first losing custody of his son. Braving the winter weather, a man identified as 43-year-old Serge Charnay has been camped out on the structure for more than 24 hours, and was joined on Saturday by a friend locked in a similar legal battle.
Charnay climbed the giant yellow crane in the Port of Nantes during the early hours of Friday, using the morning fog for cover. After reaching a lower platform, Charnay unfurled a banner on which he had scrawled a message in big block letters: “Benoît, two years without a dad”.
A member of the French advocacy group SVP Papa, which provides
resources and support for fathers, Charnay has struggled in vain over
the past two years to win back the right to see his son. He lost custody
and all visiting rights when he was accused of kidnapping the boy after
taking him on a month-long vacation.
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