She just wanted a rest and a cup of tea – but she was dragged away by security guards.
Supermodel Natalia Vodianova, 33, has written an open letter addressing the way people with disabilities are treated in her native Russia after her sister was kicked out of a cafe for “scaring customers”.
Oksana Vodianova has autism and cerebral palsy. She’s able to walk for a few hours at a time, so when she’s out and about, her carer will often take her for a rest and something to drink at a cafe.
After a walk in the park on a hot day in Moscow last week, Oksana and her carer stopped at a cafe called Flamingos for a cup of tea.
Watch Vodianova speak about her sister’s ordeal… Post continues after video.
They were refused service and asked to leave because Oksana’s appearance was “scaring away” the cafe owner’s customers.
Oksana was told to “Go away, otherwise we’ll have to call in an insane asylum, an ambulance and lock you in the basement,” wrote Vodianova on her Facebook page.
The carer called Vodianova’s mother after she and Oksana were forcibly dragged from the cafe by security guards.
According to Vodianova, her mother met the carer and Oksana and was arrested by police wielding automatic rifles for “petty hooliganism”.
“The situation, which occurred yesterday with my own sister oksana [sic], not an isolated incident, unfortunately, this is the reality, in which live all families caring for children with special needs in development. It’s hard for me to talk about it, but, I understand that this is a signal to society, which it is impossible not to hear,” Vodianova wrote.
Vodianova, a mother of four, is a longtime advocate for the rights of children and disabled people. She’s the founder and CEO of the Naked Heart Foundation, which aims to help all children gain access to recreation areas, as well as fight the stigma of disability.
According to The Guardian, a criminal investigation has been launched against the cafe owner.
Philanthropist, supermodel and sometime actress Natalia Vodianova…
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