Australia repatriates 17 women, children from Syrian detention camps

Sydney, Australia, Oct 28 (EFE).- Australia repatriated 17 Australian women and children confined in a detention camp in northeastern Syria since the fall of the Islamic State in 2019, public network ABC reported Friday.

This group, four women and 13 minors, comprises the first repatriation of adults from Syria carried out by Canberra, which already repatriated eight children in 2019, unidentified officials who participated in the transfers told ABC.

Australia has refused to publicly comment on the information, saying it is due to “the sensitive nature of the issues in question,” a spokesman for the interior ministry said Friday in an email sent to EFE.

Australian authorities told ABC it is expected to repatriate in the coming months – without specifying a date – the rest of the 60 women and minors, most born in Syria, being held in the Roj camps, in the northeast of the country.

They have not specified under what conditions the women, many of them “Islamic brides,” would enter the country and whether they would be prosecuted for violating the laws of the country for traveling illegally to a state in conflict, such as Syria, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

With this measure, Australia follows in the footsteps of France, which last week repatriated 40 women and 15 minors from these camps, and more than 20 countries.

In June 2019, the former conservative government rescued eight orphans of two deceased jihadist fighters from the a-Hol camps in northern Syria in a secret operation.

That same government, which left power in May, has approved since 2014 a series of anti-extremist measures to prevent the return of jihadist fighters, the radicalization of its citizens and potential attacks. EFE


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