Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Brussels Calls For Overturning Judicial Ruling to Repatriate 10 ISIS Kids

Brussels Calls For Overturning Judicial Ruling to Repatriate 10 ISIS Kids

Saturday, 8 February, 2020 - 11:30
Police control access to the central train station in Brussels (File photo: Reuters)
Brussels- Abdullah Mustafa

The Belgian government will submit a request to the judiciary to overturn a decision binding it to provide the necessary aid to repatriate 10 ISIS children from Syria, announced Belgian Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin.

Speaking before the parliament, Goffin who returned from a visit to the Middle East, including Iraq, explained that the required documents are available at the Belgian Consulate in Erbil, but there are three obstacles to bringing the children back.

He explained that Kurdish officials refuse to hand over the children without the guardians and some of the ISIS widows refuse to hand over their children. He also indicated that Syria remains a conflict zone, making it difficult to send an official to bring the children back.

The government earlier lodged an appeal against the decision requiring it to bring 10 children back. The children’s defense also appealed the decision because it states that they can only return without their mothers.

The defense team of the families of the 10 children began sending judicial custody staff to the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs last Wednesday demanding compensation of half a million euros for the delay in returning these children, according to a decision issued last December by the Brussels Court.

The court asked the government to provide the papers and consular assistance required to return these children to Belgium, and fined the government €5,000 for each child for each day of delay.

The judicial decision was issued on December 11 last year, in which the Brussels Court ruled that 10 Belgian ISIS-related children must be returned from northern Syria.

In its ruling, the court said that only the children, who are between 6 months and 7 years old, should be assisted. The court gave the government a 6-week deadline to implement the decision.

Belgian media reported that the court agreed to ask the authorities to only bring the children, because their parents chose to travel to conflict areas and they cannot now use their children to demand their return.

Editor Picks