U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet during a three-week session in Geneva, on Monday (June 24) said that 55,000 captured Islamic State fighters, including foreigners, and their families detained in Syria and Iraq should face fair trials or be freed. The 55,000 include suspected foreign fighters from nearly 50 countries and 11,000 family members held at the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria “in deeply sub-standard conditions”, she said.
“Accountability through fair trials protects societies from future radicalization and violence,” Bachelet said. “And the continuing detention of individuals not suspected of crimes, in the absence of (a) lawful basis and regular independent judicial review, is not acceptable,” Bachelet said.
“Foreign family members should be repatriated unless they are to be prosecuted for crimes in accordance with international standards. Children, in particular, have suffered grievous violations of their rights – including those who may have been indoctrinated or recruited by ISIL to perpetrate violent acts,” Bachelet said.
“To inflict statelessness on children who have already suffered so much is an act of irresponsible cruelty,” Bachelet said. “I urge all states to assume responsibility for their nationals, and to work together to provide resources to help the relevant authorities and actors in Syria and Iraq to address urgent humanitarian needs,” she said.
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14 September, 2019