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UK Risks To Create A New Guantanamo In Syria

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UK Risks To Create A New Guantanamo In Syria

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Submitted by Khaled Iskef

The international human rights organization Reprieve has warned of the risk that a new Guantanamo-like prison would appear in Syria.  The claim was made after, on February 26, the British Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Shamima Begum, a former “Daesh bride,” to restore her UK citizenship. Begum traveled to Syria in 2015 when she was 15 years old. In 2019, her British nationality got revoked on national security grounds.

Ms Begum was not allowed to come to the UK, so that she has no possibility to effectively appeal against the decision from the camp in northern Syria.

The Reprive director, Maya Foa criticized the decision of the British Supreme Court. The Guardian newspaper quoted Foa saying that the Supreme Court had allowed Begum to submit an appeal against this ruling again if she found a way to consult with her lawyer.

“The court said that it can submit an appeal against the ruling of revoking the nationality, but it did not say how it can do so, which leaves her in the hands of the British government, which does not wish to help it,” she said.

The organization’s director described this as “not a policy but an evasion of responsibility, unless this policy aims to establish a new Guantanamo in Syria.”

According to the assessments of the Guardian newspaper, citing the paper of the Edmond Institute, about 60 people, who left the United Kingdom to join ISIS, including 35 minors, are still detained in Syria, mainly in al-Roj camp run by the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria, where a big number of foreign women and children were transferred from the overpopulated al-Hol camp the last year.

UK Risks To Create A New Guantanamo In Syria

Al-Hol camp in Hasakah province, Syria. Via Reuters

Britain is not the only country that refuses to return its citizens from Syria. Rather, all European countries follow the same means of indifference and avoid returning of the ISIS family members who were detained in the SDF camps in Syria.

According to the statistic of the International Committee of the Red Cross, about 80 women and 200 children from ISIS families, who have foreign nationalities, reside in the Al-Hol and Al-Roj camps alone. They suffer from very poor living and health conditions, especially children who are malnourished.

In the result of the spread of murder crimes and regular breaks from the camps, they risk to turn into centers for the restoration of the ISIS resurgence in the region.

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