Russia: Joint Council Addresses the Tragic Death of Chase Harrison

12/23/2008

Joint Council wishes to express our sympathy regarding the tragic death of Chase Harrison (Dmitri Yakovlev). Nothing can be done to change that tragedy and we continue to extend our sympathies to everyone who cared for and loved Chase.

Some in both American and Russian societies have expressed considerable concerns regarding the acquittal of Mr. Harrison. While it is clear that the acquittal is not in any way related to the fact that Chase Harrison (Dmitri Yakovlev) was the Russian born adopted son of Mr. Harrison, Joint Council takes such concerns seriously and remains actively engaged with the Russian and American governments along with adoption professionals in both countries.

Since Thursday, December 18th, Joint Council has participated in three meetings with the U.S Dept of State (DOS) regarding these matters. During the meetings, Joint Council provided information on the case and requested the immediate involvement of DOS in addressing the concerns of the Russian government. The U.S. Department of State is well aware of the situation and has been responsive both in Washington D.C. and Moscow, Russia. As part of the U.S. Government response, John Beyrle, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, released a statement on this tragedy which saddens us all. In addition, Joint Council has reached out to our colleagues in Russia with expression of sympathy, information on the U.S. legal system and offers for continued dialogue.

Joint Council also remains actively involved with its Member Organizations and other NGOs in seeking solutions that express the serious nature of this tragedy and allow the continuation of intercountry adoption in Russia.

Joint Council will continue to be engaged with all key stakeholders and publish updates as we continue to serve the children of Russia.

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