For families, they are victims of war as much as a “cynicism” of the State, for the government, it is still not consider their return: the fate of the children of jihadists French prisoners in Syria will be on a “case by case”.
While burning the last redoubt of the “caliphate” of the group islamic State (EI) in the eastern regions of Syria, the issue of repatriation of these children arises again with urgency.
On Wednesday evening, the president and Emmanuel Macron has showered the hopes of the families, who have been asking for several months for the return of their children, to judge them in France, and their grand-children, under the protection of the child.
“For children, it is a case by case approach which is conducted, in particular in connection with the international Red Cross. It is a humanitarian approach that is followed, and with great vigilance,” he said from Nairobi.
“Case-by-case basis? Vigilance? If this was the case, the orphans would have already been repatriated. We will sort the children who are not dead yet, is it?”, tweeted Thursday, Véronique Roy, member of the group families united, which groups 70 French families whose relatives have joined a territory held by the AR.
For his part, the secretary of State for the Interior, Laurent Nunez, throws the ball in the camp of the democratic Forces in syria (SDS), which pounded the last piece of land of the AR.
“The FDS have made the choice that the children remain with their mother so for now there is no return envisaged”, Mr Nuñez, who said that he has been able to have these past few weeks, “returns to the account-drop” of children accompanying adults to return to Syria.
These returns underscore the families, all fall under the “private initiatives”: “The State never intervened for any repatriation. There has been no case-by-case basis, but people who have managed to leave Syria and were arrested in Turkey, or elsewhere, and then returned to France,” corrects Thierry Roy, whose son Quentin is presumed to have died in Syria.
– “Cynicism is unparalleled” –
The more unbearable for the families is that the father bruised called “the cynicism unparalleled of the president” which invokes a humanitarian approach “but gave up children” and “opens the door to extremism by not respecting our laws and our values”.
These days, efforts are multiplied for children of jihadists, and no one knows with certainty the number. They would be more than 3,500 from about thirty countries in the idp camps according to the NGO Save The Children. At the end of February, at least 80 French children were in the hands of forces-arab kurds, according to estimates from French sources not confirmed by the authorities.
After a complaint of families against France filed in February with the committee on the rights of the child of the UN, two lawyers, Marie-Dosed and Henri Leclerc, issued earlier this week a petition for repatriation.
At the same time, two families were referred to the administrative justice for that she obliges the French State to repatriate children “at risk”.
This is considered inefficient by some lawyers, the lack of representation of the State or of consular authorities in Syria since 2012. Seized of a similar request, a judge in brussels had forced Belgium at the end of December to repatriate six children belgian jihadists, a decision quashed on appeal on 27 February.
Most of the procedure, the families are waiting for a “revival of humanity” of the executive. Their lawyers point out that “all these children are exposed to short-and medium-term risk of death,” like a baby british died, probably of pneumonia, in a refugee camp at the beginning of march.
In addition to malnutrition and disease, those who have returned – about 80 since 2015 – is suffering from “post-traumatic symptoms”. The violence of the shelling, detention with their mother, “this is not the past for them, it is remembered by many events: deadlines, court, meetings with parents in prison”, explained to AFP the psychiatrist Thierry Baubet, head of one of the services in charge of their follow-up in the Ile-de-France.
“The goal should be to propose a long-term support to these children and their families”, he said. “Children full of life” he added, to which “we can be optimistic about their development.”