Dutch jihadis held in Kurdish jail want to come home

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At least two Dutchmen who travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State are hoping to return to the Netherlands, the Telegraaf said on Thursday, quoting a television documentary to be broadcast on Thursday evening.

Lawyers are now taking steps to bring back the men using the same argument as was used to free several dozen women held in refugee camps, the paper said.

They are now asking the justice minister to either drop charges against their clients, or make sure they can come back to the Netherlands to appear in court, the paper said. 

The threat of having charges at home dropped led to several women being brought home so they appear in court in person, as is their legal right.

Yasin, who grew up in Zoetermeer, is on of 15 Dutch nationals held in Kurdish-run prison without charge in Syria for the past four years. 

“The Netherlands can give me a second chance,” he told the documentary team.

However, the paper said, the return of IS fighters is considered to be a security risk by the security services. They can only be jailed for longer than six years in the Netherlands if there is concrete evidence that they have committed crimes.

So far at least 17 women have been brought back from Syrian refugee camps to face charges in the Netherlands. Of them, five were jailed in April. Twelve other women with 28 children between them have also been brought back and face a separate legal process.

The AIVD security service said in September some 300 Dutch nationals are known to have joined up with IS since 2013, of whom around 105 are dead. Around 90 adults and 80 children have returned to the Netherlands some 30 children while in Syria and Iraq. The rest remain in Syria or have gone to Turkey.

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