Outrage as Denmark Evacuates More Daesh Women and Children From Syria
Opposition parties called the repatriation “completely wrong”, reminded of the fact that the women “turned their backs on Denmark” and joined the terrorists of their own accord, and suggested that they instead should be prosecuted in Syria.
Three Daesh* women and their fourteen children have been repatriated to Denmark in a government effort from the al-Roj detention camp for former terrorists, militants and sympathisers in Syria, Danish Radio reported
The women, who willingly travelled to Syria and joined Daesh in 2014, were placed police custody and are scheduled to appear at preliminary court hearings behind closed doors, charged with joining Daesh.
The National Board of Social Services said that the children will have “calm” futures and would not be given special treatment “of either positive or negative variety”.
Earlier, Abdulkarim Omar, the head of foreign affairs in the de facto Kurdish-administered part of Syria, said that the continued presence of these children in this area will create a “new generation of terrorists, nurtured by the desire for revenge”.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen pledged that these women were the last of their kind and that the government would not repatriate any more parents from the camps in Syria, in effect repeating her previous stance that the government is willing to help children, but not adults who “turned their backs on Denmark”.
However, the repatriation decision sparked outrage in Danish parliament.
The liberal-conservative Venstre Party's foreign spokesman Michael Aastrup Jensen called it “sad”, referencing Mette Frederiksen's U-turn on the repatriation issue. In 2019, she firmly said that Denmark would assist neither former jihadists, nor their children, yet backed down, not least following the pressure from allied parties.
“I think it's really sad. We must not forget that these are three terrorists who, due to the government's turnaround, are now coming home. We do not know if they will be convicted at home. We should prosecute them down there. One should prosecute where the crime was committed. It is women who have turned their backs on Denmark”, Michael Aastrup Jensen told Danish Radio.
This stance was echoed by Danish People's Party foreign affairs spokesperson Pia Kjærsgaard who said it was “completely wrong” to take them to Denmark.
“Contrary to what the Prime Minister has repeatedly said. Breach of promise that will be costly for taxpayers. Denmark is not responsible for those who have turned their backs on it”, Kjærsgaard tweeted.
Earlier this year, a majority of Danes (56 percent) argued that children from the prison camps should not be followed home by their mothers.
According to Henrik Qvortrup, political editor at the newspaper BT, this puts pressure on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and may even become crucial in the future. Earlier, he called the issue “life-threatening” and ventured that Frederiksen may “survive” the children, but not necessarily the mothers.
By contrast, former Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard of the Social Liberal Party called the evacuation a “relief”. He ventured that the women could not be properly prosecuted in Syria and emphasised that it was completely in line with the Danish Security Service PET's recommendations for the country's own security, even though it maintained that some of the children were approaching an age group “particularly vulnerable” to indoctrination, radicalisation, or even arms training.
Overall, about 150 Danish residents are estimated to have left the country to join forces with jihadists and terrorists in the Middle East. As of now, at least four women with five Danish children remain in the camps in Syria. The women were administratively deprived of their Danish citizenship, and are not eligible for repatriation.
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/"Islamic State") is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and other countries