İrem UZUN -TDO- Germany and Finland say they have repatriated 23 of their nationals, women and children from Syria, some of whom were under criminal investigation for allegedly belonging to the ISIS group.
“I am very relieved that we were able to repatriate another 12 children and three mothers from camps in northeastern Syria yesterday,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Sunday. Maas said the repatriations were “humanitarian cases, primarily orphans and children who were ill – cases in which a repatriation was deemed particularly necessary and urgent”. He added that it is not legally possible to repatriate children without their mothers. For its part, the Finnish foreign ministry said it had brought home six children and two adult mothers. “Under the constitution, Finnish public authorities are obligated to safeguard the basic rights of the Finnish children interned in the camps insofar as this is possible,” it said.
Germany's federal prosecutor's office said on Sunday that a German citizen named Leonora M. had been arrested upon her arrival at Frankfurt airport. The woman is accused of membership of the terrorist group Islamic State and crimes against humanity. Hundreds of Europeans who joined ISIS are in camps in northern Syria. Although human rights groups have urged governments to take their citizens back, some European governments have been reluctant to repatriate their citizens from the camps because of the security risk they pose.