Belgium ordered to take in 10 children born to Daesh foreign fighters
by Daily Sabah with Reuters
ISTANBULDec 12, 2019 - 5:33 pm GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with Reuters
Dec 12, 2019 5:33 pm
A Brussels court ordered the Belgian government on Thursday to help bring 10 children of Belgian nationality born in Syria to Daesh foreign fighters back to Belgium. The children, ranging between the ages of 7 months and 7 years, must be brought to Belgium within six weeks, the court said. They are now at the al-Hol refugee camp in northeastern Syria, which is under the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units' (YPG) control. Last month, a Belgian human rights group announced that five babies of Belgian descent passed away in the YPG camps due to negligence.
Speaking to Belgium's De Morgen daily, the director of the Child Focus human rights group said the horrible conditions in the camps alone were more than enough to cause the death of the children. Having visited the camps with a child psychologist a number of times, Heidi De Pauw stated that thousands of people were trying to survive without their most basic needs being met. If the government does not comply by providing consular assistance and administrative documents for the children, it will be fined 5,000 euros ($5,511) per child per day, the court said.
Belgium's justice minister, Koen Geens, told public radio the government was ready to take back the children as long as it did not have to take in their mothers as well. Last month the court requested that the government take back within 75 days a woman whose husband fought for Daesh and her two children. The camps are a holding place for civilians who escaped the conflict between the Daesh terrorist group in Deir el-Zour, along with the families of former Daesh members who surrendered and captured terrorists. Most of the civilians were forcefully brought to the camps by the YPG in April 2017, according to reports. Several human rights organizations and the United Nations have repeatedly warned that conditions in the al-Hol camp are worsening each day and have demanded access to the centers where the families of former Daesh members are being held. According to the U.N., there are currently some 73,000 people held in the camp, 92% of who are women and children and 15% foreign nationals. The inhumane conditions in al-Hol are only one aspect of the YPG's atrocities, as the group has been accused of various human rights violations, from child recruitment to oppression of local people's customs and ways of life. The issue of the handling of Daesh members and their families detained in Syria, including foreign members of the terror group, has been controversial, with Turkey arguing foreign-born terrorists should be repatriated to their countries of origin. Last month Turkey started to deport foreign fighters it captured in anti-terror operations at home and abroad to their countries of origin. Western countries are mostly hesitant to accept citizens who joined the Daesh terrorist group in Syria.