Why lock up the parents of poorly Ashya King?

The British nation has been gripped by the plight of five-year-old Ashya King, who has been seriously ill with a brain tumour in a Spanish hospital.

Wednesday, 10th September 2014, 1:59 pm
Naghemeh King, right, accompanies her son Ashya King, 5, as he arrives for pre-cancer treatment examinations at the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic,(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

His parents, Brett and Naghemeh, removed Ashya from Southampton General Hospital, as part of a desperate plan to seek ground-breaking treatment for their child, which is not currently available in the UK.

Having been found by the Spanish police after an international “manhunt” was launched, the couple were put in a jail – hundreds of miles away from Ashya and their six other children – awaiting extradition, while Ashya lay in hospital alone.

Thankfully, they were released and reunited with their son, but many questions remain.

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I can understand why the British authorities were initially eager to find this family as they were worried a battery pack providing a vital food source for Ashya may run out of power. However, once the parents were found and health officials discovered Ashya was safe with them and they had bought a “box-load” of essential food online – the same as the one he was being given at Southampton General Hospital – why arrest them and keep them away from their beloved child in a foreign country?

I don’t see what they were gaining by doing this.

Ashya was taken out of hospital to be given the best possible care as the family searched for a way to help an aggressive brain tumour. Surely nobody can deny Brett and Naghemeh’s actions have been motivated by love and desperation to do all they can to save their sick child. What parent wouldn’t do anything to save their child? Wouldn’t you be willing to try absolutely anything if it presented even the slimmest glimmer of hope?

The majority of people have been sympathising with Ashya’s parents and criticising police and the authorities for “criminalising” the couple and their “heavy-handed” approach in issuing a Europe-wide warrant for their arrest. Surely, the priority here is the little boy’s health.

Even Prime Minister David Cameron stressed there needed to be “a rapid outbreak of common sense”.

One thing’s for sure... there was no common sense in a seriously ill child’s parents being locked up in prison while he was suffering alone in hospital with people who don’t even speak the same language as him.

I really hope some good comes out of this very sad and tragic situation.