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Frenchman ends 4-day crane protest for custody of son

19 february 2013, 11:45
0
A French father denied access to his son came back down to earth Monday after a four-day protest perched on a giant crane that sparked reactions from the prime minister and his justice minister, AFP reports.

Serge Charnay fist mounted the 40-metre-high shipyard crane on Friday morning in the western port of Nantes to highlight his case, unfurling a large banner that read: "Benoit, two years without a dad."

The 42-year-old has is battling to win back the right to see his son, born in 2006, after losing all visiting rights when he was accused of kidnapping the boy.

"It isn't finished, far from it," he said as he set foot on the ground Monday. "I didn't go up there just for my personal case but for the cause of all dads."

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault ordered Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to meet with representatives of groups defending fathers' rights Monday afternoon.

Charnay had said he would descend after that meeting.

His friend Nicolas Moreno, also in a legal battle for the right to see his two sons Evan and Lucas, climbed a nearby crane on Saturday but came down after a few hours.

Another distressed father staged a copycat protest in the eastern city of Strasbourg but climbed down the crane after two hours following police intervention.

In a letter to AFP, the lawyer for the boy's mother said Charnay had kidnapped the child twice: for 15 days in 2010 and two and a half months in 2011. He had also allegedly threatened the boy's mother.

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