Stolen Baby Case Going to Strasbourg Court

03 July 2017

North East MEP Supports Stolen Baby Case Going to Strasbourg Court

North East Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling, has welcomed the news that Ruth Appleby has today won her battle to have the case of her baby, who she believes was stolen by Spanish hospital staff in 1992, heard by the European Court of Human Rights.

Ruth was living in La Coruna in 1992 when she gave birth and was told shortly after that her child had died. This was followed by a hasty funeral where she was not able to see her baby. When her daughter's remains were exhumed for cremation in 2010 Mrs Appleby said the skeleton she saw in the coffin appeared to be of a much older infant.

Since 2013, Ruth has been presenting her case to the European Parliament in the form of a petition that Jude has been supporting as part of her role on the Parliament’s Petitions Committee. This culminated in a recent Fact Finding Visit to Madrid lead by Jude where figures from the Spanish Government and the Catholic Church were questioned on the issue.

Ruth’s case forms part of a much larger scandal from the time of the Franco regime where an estimated 300,000 new-born babies were stolen from mothers who were seen as unfit by the regime and often given to military families. The scandal broke in recent years and there have been moves in Spain for the full extent of the issue to be revealed and for cases to be fully identified.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said:

“The Court’s decision to hear Ruth’s case is a great step forward for both finding the truth about her child, and the countless other mothers who have had their children taken from them. 

“I will continue to support Ruth’s petition in the Parliament and work towards getting transparency in a scandal that has stayed hidden for too long.

“I hope that this case will lead to other, similar cases being heard by the ECHR and to justice for those affected”

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