On January 15 protests were held in both Latvia and Denmark in support of Misāne. Protesters claimed that Denmark has violated the European Convention that forbids the extradition of EU citizens for prosecution in third-world countries, calling on the Danish minister of justice to suspend Kristine’s extradition and asking for the case to be re-adjudicated.
Denmark decided to extradite the Latvian woman in question, Kristīne Misāne, so she can be prosecuted in South Africa, because the Prosecutor General’s Office in Latvia refused to take on the case. In mid-November Misāne was told she must wait at least three or four months to get a decision on whether she will be allowed to appeal.
Misāne was arrested in Copenhagen on her way to Mozambique after being placed on Interpol’s wanted list.
Fled from domestic violence
Misāne moved to Mozambique, a country neighbouring South Africa, in 2003. Over a decade later she married a South African man and had two children, but the union soon soured. Things reached a head when she refused to lend him money, and Misāne claims her husband was abusive.
She sought legal protection from her husband in 2017, which was granted by a South African court. However, her husband ended up getting custody of one of their daughters, which her lawyers said “only demonstrates corruption and lawlessness in the Republic of South Africa”.
In 2018, following a violent incident in which she claims she was raped and her other daughter was also allegedly attacked, Misāne decided to seek refuge in Latvia and she took both of her children and fled.
15 times longer sentence in South Africa
If Misāne is found guilty of abduction in South Africa, she will face a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
“The South African prison system is dominated by inhumane living conditions and regular human rights violations as confirmed by the statements of UN and the international Human Rights organisation Amnesty International,” said Misāne.
In Latvia, as the Prosecutor General’s Office subordinate all the specified accusations, the likely sentence is less than one year.
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But the length of sentence in Latvia is a problem, as it needs to be over a year to enable the Prosecutor General’s Office in Latvia to accept the European Arrest Warrant and take prosecute the citizen.