Saturday, March 25, 2023

Netherlands to repatriate 12 women and 28 children from Islamic State camps in Syria

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The Dutch government has announced plans to repatriate 12 women suspected of terror offences from so-called Islamic State (IS) camps in Syria.

The operation — the largest of its kind ever organised by the Netherlands — will also return 28 children.

“The women will be arrested after their arrival in the Netherlands and will be tried,” a government statement read on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has long refused to repatriate women from Syrian refugee camps because they had chosen to travel to the war-torn country and join the terror group. 

But, in May, a court in Rotterdam ordered authorities to repatriate 12 women and their children within four months “to prevent them from going unpunished”.

No further details about the identity of the Dutch women or their location have been released.

Earlier this year, the Dutch government repatriated five women and eleven children from the Kurdish refugee camp of Al Roj in northern Syria.

Other European countries, such as Belgium and Germany, have repatriated nearly all their citizens from IS camps in the country.

Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that France had violated children’s rights by failing to return them to the country from Syrian camps.

Roughly 300 Dutch men and women joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which swept to power in many parts of the two countries amid the on-going Syrian Civil War. 

According to the European police agency Europol, some 5,000 Europeans went overall, with some becoming fighters for the terror groups and others marrying militants. 

Some of them returned to Europe, while many others died in the fighting. 

In 2019, a Dutch-born alleged Islamic State militant went on trial in the Netherlands on Monday for war crimes committed in Iraq and Syria, after posing with a crucified body and sharing images of dead victims online.



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