Parliamentarians accuse French government of blocking visits to camps housing ISIS women and children in Syria

In Al-Hol detention camp in Syrian Kurdistan on March 3.

They were able to go to the Syrian border, but not in the Roj camp where French jihadist women and their children are prisoners of the autonomous Kurdish administration of Rojava. Returning Wednesday March 3 from a four-day trip to northern Iraq, four French parliamentarians accompanied by a delegation of Lawyers Without Borders and representatives of the President of the Bar of Paris accused the French government of having prevented their visit to the foreign prison camps of the Islamic State (IS) organization.

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After waiting two days at the border post between Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan, the French parliamentarians were received by Abdulkarim Omar, the co-secretary for international relations of Rojava, the Kurdish entity in Syria. “He told us: ‘We have too important relations with France to allow us to do something that we were not allowed to do” “, said Frédérique Dumas, MP (ex-La République en marche, now Libertés et territoires, Hauts-de-Seine). “We understood in our discussions that there was pressure from the French authorities not to go to the camps”, added Hubert Julien-Laferrière (formerly Ecologie Démocratie Solidarité, Rhône).

The official argument put forward to oppose the visits was that of security. However, delegations of elected Belgian, Finnish, German, Austrian and Catalonia (Spain) have been able to visit the detention camps of Syrian Kurdistan in recent months. Asked at the end of the Council of Ministers, the government spokesperson referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which did not react.

“Lack of transparency”

On this file, the only decision-maker is in fact Emmanuel Macron, who chose in 2019, following a poll very hostile to the repatriation of the families of ISIS jihadists, to carry out a policy of “case by case” with piecemeal repatriation (35 children in two years) and by separating mothers from their children. Above all, the Eysée does not wish to reopen the debate around the question of repatriation a few months before the start of the presidential campaign. “On this subject, the President of the Republic and the government must stop the lies and the lack of transparency”, rebelled Mme Dumas.

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The four French parliamentarians insisted on two fundamental points: the need for France to put an end to the inhuman conditions of detention of young children (two thirds of them are under 6 years old), but also the need for security. and moral to judge the French jihadist women who left for Syria.

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