A group of Dutch female jihadis and their children are taking the Dutch state to court in an effort to force their removal from prison camps in northern Syria.
The 23 women and 55 children are being kept in two camps and their campaign to be brought back to the Netherlands is supported by five law firms, broadcaster NOS reported. The case will be heard on November 1.
The court documents say that by not bringing the women back, the Netherlands is acting against international human rights treaties because the conditions in the camps are so dreadful.
Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said that ministers too are concerned about the conditions the women and children are living in, but that the women themselves chose to make their homes in Syria.
The safety of Dutch officials would be at stake if they were to travel to northern Syria to bring the women and their children back, Grapperhaus said. The Netherlands will only work towards repatriating its citizens if they report directly to a Dutch diplomatic mission in Iraq of Turkey.
There are currently 210 children in Syria and Turkey with Dutch nationality through their parents, around a tenth of whom are thought to be older than nine.
In January, the Dutch children’s ombudsman renewed her call to the government to bring back children who are stuck in camps in Syria because their parents supported IS.
‘The development of these children has been seriously threatened by their parents’ choices,’ the ombudsman said. ‘If parents cannot protect their children, the government should step in.’
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