Canada repatriates two ladies and two youngsters from northeast Syria | Battle Information

Canada repatriated two ladies and two youngsters from a camp in northeast Syria for suspected members of ISIL (ISIS) and their households, a call that has been welcomed by rights teams who’ve lengthy known as for Canadian residents to be allowed to return.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the 4 Canadian residents had been repatriated.

He additionally thanked the Syrian authorities for his or her cooperation and “their efforts to offer care to these detained in a particularly troublesome safety scenario and adversarial circumstances,” World Affairs Canada mentioned in an announcement.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) mentioned Wednesday that Oumaima Chouay, 27, was arrested at Montreal airport upon getting back from Syria on Tuesday night and charged with “terrorism” offences.

Kimberly Polman, 50, was briefly detained upon touchdown Wednesday morning and launched, her lawyer instructed AFP information company and Canadian media.

No details about the 2 youngsters has been launched.

For years, advocacy teams and opposition politicians have urged the Canadian authorities to repatriate dozens of its residents held in camps in northeast Syria, claiming they had been languishing in “inhumane” situations with out being charged with against the law.

Canada is amongst a number of western nations within the face of public strain to repatriate residents who joined or lived underneath ISIL, which had taken management of huge swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Human Rights Watch Canada mentioned in a June 2020 report that at the very least 47 Canadian residents, together with 26 youngsters, had been being held by Kurdish-led authorities within the camps.

Chouay had been underneath investigation since 2014 by the Built-in Nationwide Safety Workforce, Canada’s counter-terrorism squad, the RCMP mentioned in an announcement. assertion Wednesday. She faces 4 felony expenses, together with participation in “terrorist group” actions.

Chouay was taken prisoner in 2017 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, and was held at al-Roj camp in Syria, the RCMP inspector mentioned David Beaudoin throughout a press convention.

Polman, of whom it was mentioned to be sickspent three years in a detention camp after touring to Syria in 2015 to marry an ISIL fighter, which she later publicly mentioned she regretted.

“Urgently repatriate all Canadian residents detained in northeast Syria, prioritizing youngsters, these in want of pressing medical help, and different significantly weak detainees,” Human Rights Watch Canada tweeted Tuesday evening as information of the ladies’s liberation broke.

Chatting with reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday, New Democratic Occasion MP Heather McPherson welcomed the repatriation of the 4 Canadians, however mentioned dozens extra remained in detention.

“It’s far too late. There are nonetheless dozens of Canadians, together with Canadian youngsters, dwelling in appalling situations in northern Syria,” McPherson mentioned.

“The Authorities of Canada has declared that it’s unimaginable to repatriate these Canadians. And I feel what we’re seeing at present…is that it’s totally attainable, that Canada has at all times had the potential,” she mentioned.

In 2020, Canada repatriated a five-year-old orphan woman from Syria after her uncle sued the federal government. one other youngster was additionally repatriated in 2021, as was her mom a number of months later.

United Nations human rights officers welcomed this primary case of repatriation, saying it was “completely pressing that girls and youngsters” be allowed to return to their nations of origin.

“We discovered that the situations of girls and youngsters in these Syrian detention camps reached the brink of the usual of torture, inhuman and degrading therapy underneath worldwide regulation,” they mentioned. mentioned in October 2020.

Canada had beforehand mentioned its lack of a diplomatic presence in Syria was complicating efforts to repatriate residents held within the camps. He additionally argued that such repatriations may pose a safety threat to the nation.

In its assertion Wednesday, World Affairs Canada mentioned the security of all Canadians, each at house and overseas, stays a high precedence.

“Canada carried out the operation from this base and ensured the well being and well-being of the 4 Canadians,” he mentioned, thanking america for its help within the operation.

“Canada can’t present details about people for confidentiality causes and can’t share repatriation particulars for operational safety causes.”