German politician flees to Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Former AfD member Olga Petersen has claimed that the authorities in Hamburg were planning to seize her children

Hamburg MP Olga Petersen has sought refuge in Russia, telling Bild that she feared having her children taken by the German state over her perceived support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Petersen left Hamburg with her children last month, prompting widespread speculation about her whereabouts. Several weeks before her disappearance, her party – the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) – expelled her from its Hamburg faction for traveling to Russia as an election observer in March and declaring the vote “open, democratic, and free.”

Alexander Brod, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, told TASS last week that Petersen had settled in Russia with three of her four kids. 

Petersen broke her silence on Friday. “I have indeed taken my children out of the country,” she told Bild. “I want to know that my children are safe and that they remain in my care. Without my children, I would no longer see any meaning in life.”

According to Brod’s account, social workers had begun proceedings to take the three children – all of whom are in elementary school – into state care. Petersen offered no further details on the alleged efforts to take her children, and Bild questioned these claims, stating that the kids had been reported to youth welfare workers over behavioral problems.

Expressions of support for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine are illegal in Hamburg, with a court in the city sentencing a man to three years in prison last May for sharing “pro-Russian ideas” and using the ‘Z’ symbol – painted on some Russian military vehicles operating in the conflict – on his Telegram channel.

While there were no criminal proceedings being taken against Petersen, any kind of prison term would have resulted in her losing custody of her children. German courts can also strip a parent of their custody rights if they are deemed abusive, violent, or negligent.

Although Petersen has been expelled from the AfD’s faction in Hamburg, she remains a member of the region’s parliament and will appear on ballot papers as an independent in Hamburg’s district election on Sunday. 

“I will remain a member of the Hamburg Parliament and will fulfill my obligations to the best of my knowledge and belief,” she told Bild, adding that she will ensure her children’s safety before deciding whether she is “fit for political action again.”

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