Senior politicians support plight of abducted girl
The European Parliament’s child mediator Roberta Angelilli is taking on the case of our client Naomi Button following the intervention of Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and Humber (Liberal Democrat).
Mr McMillan-Scott gave his full support to Naomi’s campaign to find her daughter Elsa Salama after seeing her story on television. He met the Italian MEP in Strasbourg to brief her on the case, which has captured the hearts and minds of the British public and media.
Ms Angelilli and Mr McMillan-Scott, who are both Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, are using their political weight to help in the search for Elsa, who was abducted in December 2011 by her father Tamer Salama during a family visit to Egypt.
Roberta Angelilli is writing to the Egyptian Ambassador in London as well as the Egyptian Ambassador to the EU to highlight Naomi’s plight. Together with Mr McMillan-Scott she is taking Elsa’s case to the European Commission.
Father and grandfather, Mr McMillan-Scott explains: “I’m a regular visitor to Egypt and have good contacts there, as well as with the EU officials dealing with Egypt.
“I have for many years campaigned to improve rights for children across Europe. I have taken up several cases of cross-border child abduction and promote a Missing Child hotline for Europe, as well as an expert centre to focus the EU on child rights.
“In cases of cross-border parental child abduction, coordination between the involved states as well as mediation is vital. I hope that by raising Elsa’s case at an EU level we can help act as the intermediary between the UK and Egyptian parties involved. The Mediator of the European Parliament – a mother herself – can offer a human solution to human cases and render support to getting Elsa home with her mother where she belongs.”
Naomi’s plight hit the headlines following a High Court ruling that her estranged husband Tamer Salama, 35, will remain behind bars for failing to disclose where his daughter Elsa is hidden. Her campaign has also received support from her MP Rachel Reeves who met Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to seek further help from the Foreign Office to step up the search for Elsa.
Media interest in Naomi’s campaign continues with an exclusive interview for a women’s magazine due out next week. Phenomenal support for the campaign on social media has brought more than 4,300 ‘likes’ on Naomi’s ‘Bring Elsa Home’ Facebook Page and several hundred people are following her Twitter account @BringElsaHome.
About the European Parliament Mediator
The post of the European Parliament Mediator for International Parental Child Abduction was created in 1987 in order to help children from binational marriages that have broken down who have been abducted by one or other parent.
Roberta Angelilli was appointed EP Mediator in 2009. The role of the Mediator is to try to find a voluntary agreement between the abducting parent and the other parent, the best interests of their child(ren) always being paramount.