- Why is the abduction of Insiya getting so much media coverage?
The abduction of Insiya is the most violent child abduction ever to have taken place in the Netherlands. It was a military operation, carried out by a special team that was assembled and flown in for the purpose. The abduction took months to plan. Most child abductions by a parent usually take place during a holiday, when the child (or children) is not brought home by the abducting parent.
- Why should the prime minister be urged to take action?
Insiya was abducted and smuggled to India four years ago. A Dutch minor child, Insiya has been held illegally in India all that time. On 28 August 2019, a Dutch court ruled that Insiya should immediately be returned to the Netherlands.
India is not a party to the Hague Abduction Convention. Insiya is therefore dependent on Dutch political pressure on India for her return to the Netherlands.
The Dutch government’s so-called ‘silent diplomacy’ has not produced any results. Mark Rutte and the Dutch government must therefore take a tougher line with India to bring the abduction to an end, and allow Insiya to return safely to the Netherlands.
- What nationality does Insiya have?
Insiya has Dutch nationality, and Dutch nationality alone. She was born in Amsterdam and only has a Dutch passport. Her passport is still at home in the Netherlands. Insiya was smuggled from the Netherlands to India without a passport or valid travel document.
- How did Insiya end up in India?
Without a passport, a valid travel document, visa or any other papers, Insiya was smuggled to India after she was abducted from Amsterdam on 29 September 2016. She entered India illegally and is also being held there illegally.
- Is there any contact between Insiya and her mother?
No, nor is it known at this time how Insiya is doing.
- Why isn’t Insiya back yet?
That’s a good question. Her mother, Nadia, has won all of the court cases in the Netherlands, and there are no longer any civil proceedings under way. Her father was legally and extensively represented at all the proceedings, whereby he acknowledged the Dutch legal process.
The Dutch judge ordered that Insiya should immediately be returned to the Netherlands (return order), and her father had his parental authority removed at the request of the Child Welfare Council, because the abduction was a ‘serious developmental threat’ to Insiya. The mother has sole parental authority.
In the past four years, the Dutch government has limited its actions to silent diplomacy. This hasn’t helped, and Insiya hasn’t returned home as a result. That’s why the Netherlands must take a harder line and demand Insiya’s immediate return.
- What is Operation Barney?
Operation Barney is the military plan that was drawn up by the kidnappers. The document was found by the police on a computer belonging to one of the convicted kidnappers. It describes each step of the operation in detail: who would do what and when. Various scenarios were developed and a cost estimate was made. The central point was clear: the kidnappers would abduct Insiya no matter what, even if some people got hurt in the process.
- How many kidnappers have been convicted?
Six of the eight kidnappers were convicted on 11 July 2019. The former police officer Erik S. had to serve four years and three months in prison, Robert H. and Daniël C. were each sentenced to four years, and Willem V. had to serve three years. The other convictions were for Huibert V. and Lizzy S., who were sentenced to 16 and 12 months in prison. Shehzad H. (the main suspect) and Imran S. stood trial at Amsterdam’s District Court on 23 and 24 September 2020.
- When was the first abduction attempt?
On 13 January 2016, the main suspect, Shehzad H., tried to abduct Insiya from Hoofddorp with a British team. He had been stalking her mother, Nadia, for months, and had GPS trackers fitted under her car. In the early morning of 13 January 2016, police officers stopped Shehzad H. in the street near Nadia’s house. The police later reported that Shehzad H. had wanted to abduct Insiya, but the police had foiled the abduction attempt. The police took a photo of Shehzad H. on that day, and this photo was used by Amber Alert on the day of the abduction.
- Is it true that Nadia told the police several times that she was being threatened and stalked?
Nadia made several reports of threats and stalking to the police, because Shehzad H. had been watching and threatening her for months. She reported Shehzad H. to the police; she knew that Shehzad H. wanted to abduct Insiya.
The police told Nadia to keep detailed logs of the stalking. In April 2016, the police thought they had enough evidence to identify Shehzad H. as a suspect. But while the police investigation was still ongoing, Shehzad H. succeeded in having Insiya forcibly abducted on 29 September 2016.