In the photo: Five-year-old British girl kidnapped by her father and taken to Slovakia, where she has not been allowed to speak to her distraught mother since October

A High Court judge has taken the unusual step of naming a British child who was kidnapped by her father and taken abroad in an attempt to bring her home.

Elena Smolik, five, was taken to Slovakia last year by her dual nationality father Rastislav, 33, and has not been seen since, leaving her mother Wiem Bejaoui heartbroken.

Despite repeated attempts to contact her daughter, 26-year-old Wiem has not been able to speak to her since October and Smolik’s relatives claim they have no idea where he is.

During a hearing at the High Court, Judge Francis allowed the parties to be named and said in his five-page ruling that it was a “very serious case of child abduction”, adding that he believed it was “planned”.

He continued: ‘It’s terrible, it’s terrible for the mother to be deprived of her child, but even worse for the child to be deprived of her mother.’

Judge Francis added: “I don’t know what his family or friends out there know or what they have been told.

‘I’d like to think that most right-thinking people would be shocked at the idea of ​​a father keeping his daughter abroad – which is, after all, what Slovakia is to Elena.

“I hope that her father will be convinced, or even ashamed, into agreeing that Elena must return to this country – this country is the country of Elena’s habitual residence.”

Smolik, five, was taken to Slovakia last year by her dual nationality father Rastislav, 33, and has not been seen since leaving her heartbroken mother Wiem Bejaoui, 26

Elena Smolik, five, was taken to Slovakia last year by her dual nationality father, Rastislav, 33

Elena Smolik, five, was taken to Slovakia last year by her dual nationality father, Rastislav, 33

Elena is pictured riding a pink scooter

Elena is pictured riding a pink scooter

The ruling details how Smolik and Wiem, who have permission to remain in Britain, met on social media in 2018, later married and Elena was born in London in 2019.

Four years later the relationship began to break down and in October last year, hospitality worker Smolik said he was taking Elena to visit family in Slovakia.

Tunisian-born Wiem agreed to a short visit during the summer holidays, but on the day Elena was due to return on November 1, her husband called and said they had been delayed because he had ‘lost’ their daughter’s passport.

But since then she has not even spoken to her daughter and all attempts to contact Smolik through his relatives whom she knows have been blocked.

Breaking down in tears, Wiem told MailOnline: ‘The last time I heard from Elena was in November when she told me about the passport and the next day her father sent me a message saying she wanted to stay here and then he blocked me.

“I called his sister, his brother, his parents, all his family there that I know, and they don’t want to talk to me, they ignore my questions about Elena.

‘I don’t think he’s lost his passport so I called the police and they said they would go to the flat and there they found his father, who said he was in Britain living with his wife and daughter , which is not true. .

“They lied, I know he is still in Slovakia with Elena, they live in a rural place in the mountains, very easy to hide and I don’t know how she is doing or if she is even going to school.

“It’s been so hard for me, I just want Elena back, I’m trying not to cry but it’s not easy, it was her birthday a few days ago and you don’t know how hard it was.

‘I miss her so much, she is such a chatterbox and is always by my side, without her with me life is so difficult, she needs me and I want her back.

Amy Rowe of Dawson Cornwell, who represents Wiem, said: ‘This is a serious case of child abduction, and parents are often unaware of the devastating effect abduction has on a child, especially if they are prevented from seeing and interacting with the children. speak. other parent.

‘There is international consensus that children should be protected from the harmful effects of child abduction by their parents by quickly returning to their home countries, where the courts are best placed to make decisions about their future.

‘Whom cannot afford to instruct a lawyer in Slovakia to initiate proceedings for Elena’s return, and we understand that legal aid is not available.

‘It is extremely difficult for parents to navigate the legal process on their own, especially if they do not speak the language or understand the legal process abroad.

‘We repeat Wiem’s ​​call to Rastislav Smolik to send Elena back to England.

‘If he believes that there are reasons why Elena should be moved to Slovakia to live there, then he should properly present that case to the English Family Court.’

Smolik's passport can be seen in this image with redacted details

Smolik’s passport can be seen in this image with redacted details

Michael Polak, barrister at Church Court Chambers and director of Justice Abroad, who is also representing the mother, said: ‘It is impossible to understand the pain and confusion that the current situation must cause to Elena, who lived happily with her mother in London. before suddenly being wrongly detained in Slovakia.

‘Kidnapping Elena is shocking, but completely denying her contact and love from her mother is abhorrent.

‘The father’s conduct in this case, namely taking a child abroad with consent, but keeping the child there without consent, is a clear breach of the orders of the English court in relation to the care of Elena.

‘Unfortunately, unlawful retention is not a criminal offense under UK law, and consideration should be given to changing this to help prevent further cases like this.

“Anyone with any information about Elena’s location should contact us confidentially to help end this nightmare for both mother and child.

‘We have asked the Metropolitan Police to issue a yellow INTERPOL notice for Elena as a missing person as this could lead to the child being quickly located.’

Wiem has set up a crowdfunding page to help pay for her fight to get her daughter back.

Details are here: 97ce-5829ec0a7701