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Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus. Wikipedia

Outrage over repatriation of ‘Dutch’ jihadist wives from Syria

An arrest warrant has been issued against six jihadist wives to be brought back from Syria. In a letter to the Chamber, Dutch Minister Grapperhaus claims that the policy of non-repatriation remains unchanged.

Published: February 7, 2019, 7:53 am

    The Hague

    The six are the wives who fled from the fighting between the Syrian Democratic forces (mostly Kurdish fighters) and the Islamic State, on 31 January.

    The Netherlands is looking into how, together with the Kurdish authorities, six women who went to Syria, along with their eleven children, can be repatriated. The women are suspected of belonging to a terrorist organisation. That is what Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus (Justice and Security, CDA) told Dutch broadcaster NOS on Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued against the six.

    This active repatriation does not apply to other females [who went to Syria] and their children. On Thursday, Minister Grapperhaus informed the Chamber that the policy, with the exception of the six women, has not changed.

    That was confirmed by a spokesman for the minister, who told NRC that the others must make their own way to the consulate in Erbil. This is actually not possible because the women are held in Kurdish camps as prisoners.

    In a January 8 decision, the court in Rotterdam demanded that the authorities make every effort to get the women out of the Al-Hol camp on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Detailed instructions on how to proceed were given.

    The women and their children must be brought from northeastern Syria to the border with Iraq and from there transferred to the Kurdish Autonomous Region. In Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi-Kurdish region, there is a Dutch consulate. From there, their repatriation will be arranged.

    Grapperhaus told NOS: “We have spoken with the organisations that manage the camps. We have established that if they actually transfer them to a safe area, and then to a consulate of the Netherlands, then we can take them. Mothers will then, naturally, be arrested by the Marechaussee [police] and the children will be received by Child Protection.”

    The population in the camp has tripled in recent weeks, according to the WHO. This has led to a shortage of tents, toilets, and medical supplies, and there is no heating. Also, there are dozens of “Dutch” citizens.

    This week France announced that French jihadis who are stuck in Syria were going to be actively repatriated as the situation in the region “has become too unstable”.

    But Pierre-Henri Dumont, a deputy in the French National Assembly for Les Républicains, in a television talk show appearance, makes the case for the targeted assassination abroad of “French” jihadist, rather than letting them return to France.

    The death penalty has been abolished in France, and the longest time a criminal can expect behind bars is twenty years. Dumont is in favor of solving the problem by killing the jihadis before they can return to France, but female moderators on the talk show steadfastly opposed his idea.

    Belgian judges has pressured the government to bring children of ISIS fighters back to Belgium. For the time being, Belgium has refused to repatriate their mothers.

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