In November 2012, on behalf of a security company Daniel Bakke, 37, and Per-Åke “Pelle” Helgesson, 54, went to Tunisia together with a Norwegian woman to help her retrieve her child who had been illegally taken by the child’s Tunisian father.
Instead, they were arrested by Tunisian police on suspicion of preparing an armed kidnapping. Since their arrest in November, the Norwegian mother has been awarded sole custody of the child in both Norwegian and Tunisian courts, but the Swedes remain in the Mornaguia prison, southwest of the capital Tunis without trial.
Due to the fact that the legal system in Tunisia will close for summer vacation, they now face the risk of spending at least another four more months in prison – and the Swedes are starting to lose hope.
“I cannot take another setback now. I’m exhausted and have to go home to my children”, Pelle writes in a letter from prison.
This has happened:
November 11, 2012: The two Swedes went together with a Norwegian woman to Tunisia to help her retrieve her child that the child’s father had illegally taken from Norway.
November 17 2012: Daniel Bakke’s brother, Christian Franzetti, says in an interview to Aftonbladet that the Swedes are suffering in the Tunisian prison, only getting dry pieces of bread and bad water. According to their lawyer, they risk up to ten years in prison for attempted kidnapping.
January 11, 2013: Aftonbladet published a letter written by Per-Åke “Pelle” Helgesson and smuggled out from prison in which he says that there are bed lice and they have been denied visits, are being harassed and abused, both mentally and physically, by the police,”
June 20, 2013: The Swedes are denied the preliminary investigation which should have been carried out by a so-called pre-trial judge. They instead refer the case to criminal court.
Want to get attention
Now the men’s families come forward in the hope that the case will get attention and that the men will be freed.
Melody Guarino Bakke, in December celebrated one-year wedding anniversary but she was alone at the couple’s home in the Philippines, while Daniel was locked up in a Tunisian prison – There are no words to describe the situation. Daniel is the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last when I go to bed, s