Curle, 38, and husband Jonathan, 37, a Canadian citizen, had been serving as missionaries with Texas based Grace International in Zimbabwe Africa since 1998. In 2009, the couple and children moved back to the United States to seek marital counseling and safety from political unrest. Jonathan Curle refused to follow proper immigration channels with International Customs Enforcement and was ordered to leave the U.S. for a period of 5 years. While a citizen of Canada, he chose to return to Zimbabwe in 2011 leaving Cure and the three children in California.
On January 17, 2012, a Siskiyou County Judge heard the case and on March 6, 2012, returned her decision that under The Hague Convention treaty, jurisdiction of the case be transferred to Zimbabwe. She ordered all three children be returned to Zimbabwe by April 20, 2012. None of the parties considered in this case are citizens of Zimbabwe. Jonathan Curle, who resides in Zimbabwe, has threatened to revoke his children of U.S. citizenship status once in his custody. This would require the children to reapply for legal U.S. citizenship status at age 18.
Over 80 percent of the population in Africa is plagued with HIV due to violent rape. Zimbabwean law allows women and children to be considered property of males. Due to this law, divorce is considered invalid unless it is initiated by the male. According to the CIA world fact book, Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men. Women and children are trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Zimbabwean men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor and utilized in the commission of illegal activities.
“My daughter’s only recourse is to take the children to Zimbabwe and return to the U.S. and attempt to fight this divorce and custody battle in Zimbabwe courts,” stated Keith Chilson, Curle’s father, during a radio interview with KSFO in San Fransisco, California. “This could take many months the way the Zimbabwe courts work. My daughter is sending a retainer to a Zimbabwe International Divorce Law Firm to be ready to do this.”
Curle has been mandated by the U.S. judge to accompany the children back to Zimbabwe to reside with their father. Upon arrival, Curle must immediately board her flight back to the United States. Failure to follow this procedure could result in imprisonment or possibly death.
An account has been established in Krystal Curle’s name to assist with her legal defense fund. Monetary donations may be sent to Tri Counties Bank, 303 Main St., Weed, CA 96094.
Author: Marie Moe
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