Divorced french dad abandons crane vigil

2013-02-19 08:06
French father, Serge Charnay, flashes the V sign atop a crane. The inscription on crane reads: “Save our children from Justice.”( David Vincent, AP)

French father, Serge Charnay, flashes the V sign atop a crane. The inscription on crane reads: “Save our children from Justice.”( David Vincent, AP)

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Paris - A divorced French father who has been prevented from seeing his son abandoned a four-day vigil on top of a crane on Monday after a government official agreed to a meeting with fathers who have lost access to their children.

Serge Charnay, aged 42, has become a standard-bearer for separated fathers seeking to spend more time with their children after he climbed the crane in the city of Nantes.

One of his demands had been a meeting with a government official. Once Justice Minister Christiane Taubira agreed to such a meeting, he abandoned his perch.

The unemployed computer technician lost his visitation rights in 2011, after taking his son away for two months without the mother's approval.

A lawyer for the mother said he had also lost his visitation rights after threatening the mother.

On Friday morning he climbed a crane in an abandoned shipyard to draw attention to his case.

"Benoit, two years without daddy," read a banner draped across the crane. Police provided him with water, but he spent much of his vigil without food.

Dozens of separated fathers rallied at the foot of the crane on Sunday to show support for Charnay. Many accuse the French justice system of disregarding father's rights.

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