A mother on hunger strike for the repatriation of her jihadist daughter

► Why this hunger strike?

“It’s a continuity in the actions that I lead because I no longer know what to do”. To obtain the medical repatriation of her 32-year-old daughter, as well as that of her four grandchildren, Pascale Descamps began a hunger strike on Monday 1is February, at her home in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Her daughter has colon cancer.

However, detained in the Roj camp, located in northern Syria and held by Kurdish forces, she could not be treated on the spot. “She is very unwell and is losing a lot of blood. The tumor has grown, it begins to have diffuse pain in the back “, told France 3 Pascale Descamps, who is very worried about her grandchildren, aged 2 to 11.

After converting to Islam, her daughter left to join Daesh in 2015 with her companion and three first children. When the latter died, she remarried another Daesh member, also killed in the fighting and with whom she had a fourth child.

► What legal steps have been taken?

His lawyer, Maître Emmanuel Daoud, no longer knows “How many recourse” he brought: before the administrative court to order “The State to respect the International Convention on the Rights of the Child”, before the tribunal de grande instance for ” assault “, but also before the European Court of Human Rights, or the Committee against Torture of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

A first complaint lodged with the Court of Justice of the Republic against several ministers for “Failure to provide assistance and non-assistance to a person in danger” was ruled inadmissible by the prosecutor. “He replied that, the Roj camp being located abroad and not under the jurisdiction of any country, continued detention should be considered an act of government falling within the scope of diplomacy”, the lawyer is surprised.

However, a French team went there a few weeks ago to repatriate seven children. “While we had alerted, at the beginning of December, of the urgency of the situation of the daughter of Pascale Descamps, this team passed by her tent without bothering to bring her back”, indignant master Emmanuel Daoud, who again filed a complaint against Jean-Yves Le Drian.

→ THE FACTS. Syria, French families of jihadists sue Le Drian

The lawyer is also surprised that the international arrest warrant, issued against the daughter of his client by two French anti-terrorism judges, was not executed on this occasion. “Justice obviously goes behind political considerations and the fear of being accused of laxity”, over it.

► What are the prospects?

Since the collapse of Daesh in March 2019, France, which continues to ” case by case “, repatriated 28 children from camps in northern Syria, orphans or whose mothers agreed to separate: 17 in 2019, 11 the following year (including a girl suffering from a heart defect), and seven others in January 2021.

→ MAINTENANCE. Release of prisoners in Syria: “only women who do not present any danger will be concerned”

“The situation is dramatic because it lasts. All will celebrate the 3e anniversary of their detention. Some children, born there, have only known the camps ”, alert, on behalf of the United Families Collective, Marc Lopez, whose daughter-in-law and four grandchildren are also being held there.

Some French families – “But not all” – have been transferred since the summer from the gigantic Al Hol camp, in the Roj camp, which is smaller and enjoys a better health and safety situation. “But the manager herself says she can’t afford chronic illnesses. But there are more and more, in mothers and children ”, says Marc Lopez.

In December, the repatriation by Germany and Finland of a few women accompanied by their children rekindled hope. Paris only received women who had escaped from the camps, had reached Turkey from where they were expelled. “France continues to maintain that they must be judged on the spot, but by whom? “, asks Marc Lopez. “They are not subject to any legal proceedings and no lawyer can approach them. We still can’t leave them out there indefinitement ».


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