They need treatment ASAP. On Friday, August 26, two lawyers request the French authorities for “an emergency repatriation” of a seriously ill minor currently detained in the Kurdish camp of Roj in Syria. The child’s state of health is “extremely alarming”, according to William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth. It is a child of Estelle K., a woman “traveled to Syria with her three minor children and her husband in 2014” and “prisoner” since 2017 “in the region of Deir Ezzor (northeast Syria)”.
“His life is in danger. The undersigned urges the government to proceed with the urgent repatriation of this child and his family,” they write in a press release. They assure that a French cardiologist, who was seized of the file, assessed that an “emergency repatriation is essential. His condition requires specialized care to be carried out”.
“Correspondence addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains unanswered today. The undersigned is amazed by this silence, which explains nothing in light of the very seriousness of the situation. They therefore challenge the public authorities to request the repatriation of this child and his family,” they also write.
The repatriation of a woman was also requested
Lawyer Marie Dosé also drew attention to the situation of a woman, mother of two, detained in Roj, like the sick child. This Frenchman would have been “victim of a recent stroke, paralyzed and hospitalized on Wednesday for respiratory failure”, assures her lawyer. She said she had sent “dozens” of warnings and repatriation requests to French authorities over the summer regarding mothers and their children.
“These children spent three, four or five years in open-air prisons, breathing in the smell of oil wells and receiving no proper care. Many suffer from respiratory failure and bear scars from their wounds, which have never been treated,” she criticizes.
She does not hesitate to emphasize the physical and psychological consequences of an ever-later repatriation: “France deliberately keeps them there. The later the children return to France, the more difficult their medical and psychological treatment will be,’ she argued.
In July, 35 minors had been sent home
Sixteen women and 35 minors, some of whom had been living since the fall of Islamic State in 2019 in camps in northeastern Syria held by Kurdish forces, were brought back to France on July 5. All the women targeted either by an arrest warrant or by a search warrant issued by the French courts were charged with association with criminal terrorist criminals and imprisoned, upon their arrival on French soil or after a few days in custody. The children were looked after by the Children’s Protection Agency.
During his first five-year term, President Emmanuel Macron was very reluctant to bring back French citizens who had gone to wage jihad in Syria, aware that a large majority of the French were resolutely hostile there. Only a few children have been repatriated, according to the “case by case” doctrine.