The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Repatriation of families of jihadists: "France is trapped in its right"


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - France repatriated this Tuesday, January 25, fifteen women and 32 children detained in jihadist prison camps in Syria. According to the doctor of public law, "the best interests" of the children of jihadists should not prevail over the safety of the French.

Laurent Lemasson has a doctorate in public law and political science.

France repatriated this Tuesday, January 25, fifteen women and 32 children who were detained in jihadist prison camps in northeastern Syria.

This is the third major repatriation operation after that of July 2022, when France repatriated sixteen mothers and 35 minors, as well as that of October which had seen the return of fifteen women and 40 children.

Undoubtedly others will follow, because there are still a hundred children of jihadists in Syria, and France is under strong judicial and diplomatic pressure to bring them back to its soil.

Read also“Repatriation of the companions of jihadists: the extravagant decision of the ECHR deciphered”

These repatriations take place quietly, because public opinion is largely hostile to them, but they were foreseeable, and even inevitable, since these jihadists and their children retained French nationality, because this link of nationality imposes obligations on the authorities. French.

The only alternative would have been for them to be convicted and imprisoned in another country for the crimes they committed there.

This is the option that the French government would have preferred, but it is not always possible, especially for those detained by the Kurds, since there is no Kurdish state, therefore no justice. recognized internationally.

And that would still have left the question of their children hanging in the balance.

The subject is highly emotional and mixes complex legal and moral considerations.

But the public debate mainly revolves around two questions: First, is it dangerous to repatriate these women and children?

Second, do we have a moral obligation to repatriate them?

The women were very rarely fighters, but it would be very naive to believe that they were less fanatical or less dangerous than the men.

Laurent Lemasson

Let's try to briefly provide some answers.

To the first question, the answer is yes for adults.

Repatriated women are of course “judicialized”, according to the official term.

They will be judged, probably condemned.

Then they will come out one day.

Probably in ten years.

During their stay in prison, it will be impossible to prevent them from proselytizing.

It is not possible to keep a prisoner in solitary confinement, except for imperative and very serious security reasons.

Whichever solution is adopted, they will be able to communicate with the other prisoners.

Once released, it will be impossible to monitor them closely beyond a few months at the best of times.

Moreover, we do not know how to "de-radicalize": we will never have the assurance that

they abandoned their Islamist ideology which made them go to Syria.

Repatriating these women therefore amounts, objectively, to increasing the number of hardened jihadists present on our soil.

Their children will be taken care of by social services and the judicial protection of youth, then will no doubt be handed over to their families, if they have one, while waiting for their mother to come out of prison.

Nobody can know what they will become when they reach adulthood, and it is certainly out of place to speak of them as "ticking time bombs", as we sometimes hear.

Their parents have proven their dangerousness, they have done nothing but be born.

They are, until proven otherwise, as innocent as any child in the world.

Children are not clones of their parents.

The second question also calls for a differentiated response.

Regarding women, it is difficult to see what moral obligation France could have towards people who have denied it and who have taken up arms against it.

Women were very rarely fighters, in accordance with Islamist ideology, but it would be very naïve to believe that they were less fanatical or less dangerous than men.

They are no more deserving of our compassion than the latter.

Women are jihadists like the others.

But the children?

Children are obviously not responsible for the crimes of their parents and towards them the normal and spontaneous attitude is a reflex of protection and compassion.

They should therefore be repatriated.

However, this inevitably means eventually repatriating their mothers as well.

After having put forward the “best interests” of these children to demand that they be repatriated, we will put forward their “best interests” not to be separated from their mothers in order to demand that France also bring back these latest.

And this is also the strategy that has been successfully implemented by the families of these jihadists held in Syria.

It is this point, it seems, that is particularly shocking, and with good reason.

Compassion is a noble instinct, particularly with regard to children, but it must always be enlightened by reason so as not to produce more harm than good.

Laurent Lemasson

Compassion is a noble instinct, particularly with regard to children, but it must always be enlightened by reason so as not to produce more harm than good.

We must therefore not lose sight of the fact that the situation of these children of jihadists is not essentially different from the situation of the children of common law criminals.

When we inflict punishment on a criminal for the crimes he has committed, it is inevitable that this punishment will also affect those around him.

But it is not justice that makes the family of a man who is in prison suffer, it is the criminal himself.

He is the one who, by committing his crimes, risked going to prison and deliberately and selfishly put his family in danger.

This is how criminal justice necessarily works for ordinary crimes.

Why would it be any different for those who chose to join the ranks of the Islamic State?

Would we have more regard for jihadists who are traitors to their country than for ordinary delinquents?

Moreover, a responsible statesman will consider not the good of a few but the good of the entire political community for which he is responsible.

The interest of the children of jihadists is to return to France.

Is it in the interest of the other children of France that they return, with their parents?

It seems hard to believe.

Read also“The repatriation of jihadists is the only solution for them to be neutralized”

As we can see, even vis-à-vis children, the moral obligation is far from obvious.

What is certain is that this moral dilemma only arises because the French government has not given itself the legal means to deprive French people of their nationality who have gone to Syria.

We could thus have brought the law into line with reality, by noting that these individuals excluded themselves from the national community.

By not having done so, we are maintaining a fiction that allows them to use for their own benefit all the resources of a rule of law, which they nevertheless tried to destroy.

Today, there is no reason to be scandalized that children detained in sordid camps arrive in France.

On the other hand, one can legitimately question the weakness and the


- Syria: France repatriated women and children from jihadist prison camps

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-25

You may like

News/Politics 2023-03-03T08:41:26.064Z
News/Politics 2023-01-27T16:40:06.937Z

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-03-27T12:30:21.526Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.