STORY BY: Lilia P. Schneider & Lina Luzyte
Caught in a whirlwind of Moldova Politics, prejudices and corruption, a female lawyer battles all the way to the European Court of Human Rights for her client - a village girl who married into the country’s wealthiest family only to be thrown out of the house after giving birth - who claims her son’s custody.
It all started when Nastya, a Moldovan teenager, made the fatal mistake of falling in love with the heir to the country’s wealthiest family. A whirlwind romance leads to marriage and then, the birth of a son.
At that point the family realized that they had the only thing they ever wanted from this uneducated country girl so without a word, they kicked her out of the house and kept her baby.
Nastya, determined to right this wrong, engaged a lawyer but he simply stole her money, and the police refused to take her word over his. But then fate intervened and she met Violetta, a lawyer who fights for women’s rights.
Despite the challenge of going up against a powerful family, Violetta agreed to take on the case. A trial was set. They lost. A second trial was set. They lost again. An appeal was filed and to their surprise, they won. But did it make any difference? No. The family ignored the court order and paid off the corrupt authorities.
With nothing to lose, Violetta, knowing that Moldova was attempting to join the EU, filed a petition to the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - and to the shock of the entire legal establishment in Moldova - the case was accepted. The Court’s ruling that Moldova had violated Nastya’s basic human rights finally forced the family to return the child, and after five long years of painful absence Nastya, once again, held her son in her arms.
Story by: Lilia P. Schneider & Lina Luzyte