Fatima and her daughter. | Agency


On the fourth of this month, a woman named only as Fatima took her ten-month-old baby daughter for a routine appointment with a doctor in Felanitx. She was accompanied by her ex-husband, the baby's father. After leaving the health centre, the father asked if the girl could be left with him so that he could take her to see her grandmother. Fatima agreed to this, and since then she hasn't seen her daughter.

After numerous attempts to get her former husband to see reason, she filed a complaint with the courts in Manacor. Her lawyer, Carina Barroso, explains that the father's legal representative has been offered an agreement for shared custody; this has been turned down.

Fatima lives in the home that is owned by her ex-husband, who has been told that if her living there is the problem, then she will go; so long as the baby is returned or there is an agreement. He still refuses to return the girl.

When the couple separated, they both continued to have access to the child. However, no formal visiting or maintenance arrangement has been established. Fatima worked as a chef in her sister-in-law's restaurant. Her lawyer says that the ex-husband told his sister to fire her. She has no income. "We know that justice can be slow, but we fear that the girl will be taken away because she has no resources and he does."

The electricity has now apparently been cut off at the house. A dead rat was left outside the front door the other day. On Wednesday at 11am, there is to be a gathering of people who support Fatima outside the courts in Manacor. They will demanding justice so that Fatima can get her baby back.