Paris-In order to issue an urgent appeal to the French government, about 10 French women are being held in Syrian detention camps to join the Islamic State. They began a hunger strike on Saturday to protest the government’s refusal to take them home for trial.
These women are among dozens of French mothers and their more than 200 children who have been detained by the Kurdish army in a dirty camp for at least two years and are in a legal position.
One of the women said in a voice message obtained by The New York Times: “We decided to disregard risks and stop being self-sufficient until we met with the right people to get answers about our future.”
Since ISIS lost its last stronghold in Syria in at least 2019, about 60,000 relatives of Islamic fighters (mainly women and children) have been trapped in sick and diseased detention camps in northeastern Syria by Kurdish forces. Clear evidence in the future.
France, like other Western countries where citizens are also detained, has rejected calls from families and rights organizations to repatriate its people. France only brought back some children.
The repatriation of citizens who started the jihad has long been a sensitive issue for France, and France is still plagued by years of Islamic terrorist attacks. However, the hunger strike and recent initiatives by French legislators and citizens may increase the government’s pressure to respond to the deteriorating situation.
UN human rights experts last week urged 57 countries, including France, to repatriate women and children who “continue to detain in refugee camps for unknown reasons”. “This is a matter of serious concern and undermines accountability, truth and The development of justice.”
France has long believed that adults who have joined the Islamic State, including women, should be tried in their crime locations (Syria and Iraq). Several men have been tried and sentenced in Iraqi courts.
However, to date, facts have proved that it is impossible to try women because their potential crimes are not yet known and the Kurdish government that detains women has not yet gained international recognition. Kurdish forces in the camp demanded the repatriation of all foreigners, saying they could not leave them in unstable areas indefinitely.
The women who staged a hunger strike said they wanted to stand trial in France.
“We are there, in the tent, waiting in the cold winter,” a hungry striker said in a voice message.
She said: “We hope to pay the debts to society for the choices we made here. But this is the end of the nightmare and it’s time for us to go home.”
The New York Times obtained several voice messages from these women, but did not disclose their names because they received death threats from ISIS supporters who expressed opposition to returning to France.
Countries like Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan have each repatriated more than 100 citizens, which is much more than in Western countries. In Western countries, public opinion is firmly opposed to bringing home those who fought with ISIS.
Human rights groups urge governments to at least bring home the children of their citizens, on the grounds that minors did not choose to go to Syria, and raising them into camps that have become a cauldron of Islamic radicalism will only exacerbate the situation.
But France has agreed to deport children only on a case-by-case basis, giving priority to orphans and vulnerable children whose mothers have agreed to exile. So far, 35 children have been brought back, including a 7-year-old girl suffering from heart disease. She was sent to France for emergency medical assistance in April.
In the current French political environment, repatriation may be more difficult. In the fall, the country was hit by several Islamic terrorist attacks, which reopened old wounds. The draft law aimed at combating Islamism is expected to be finally approved by the French Senate next month.
Relatives and families who have been stranded in Syrian refugee camps and rights groups have been condemning this sporadic repatriation process. In northern France, since February 1, the mother of a French woman detained in Syria has been on a hunger strike to protest French policy.
In the open letter, The French parliamentarian recently condemned the conditions in the refugee camps and the government’s unwillingness to take action, which he called “extremely inhuman and irresponsible political cowardice”.
The letter read: “If we continue to forgive the government’s guilty silence due to our inertia, then we will become the legislators who let innocent children die.
The spokesperson of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for the repatriation could not be contacted immediately.
Marie Dosé and Ludovic Rivière, lawyers for women on hunger strike, said in a statement that women should only be tried in France, and that “for more than two years” they “have been waiting for Payment for what I own is completed.”
In one of the voice messages, a woman said that they need “helping hands from our country now.”
She said that the trial in France would be a “second chance.”