Has announced that it will take back 23 of its citizens who were held in islamic state camps in north-east syria. the group consists of six women, 13 infants and four men, including british-canadian dual national jack letts. this is the largest repatriation of canadian citizens from the so-called islamic state caliphate since it was destroyed in 2019.
Repatriation of the detainees occurred after their relatives took the canadian government to court and argued that preventing them from entering canada would violate their constitutional rights. canada had only previously responded to detained is families on an individual case-by-case basis, resulting in only a handful of women and children being brought home in the past four years. other countries such as germany, france, spain and netherlands have also repatriated their citizens from syria. last year, the uk took back two uk nationals from the camp after they were identified as human trafficking victims.
Judge asked that the men should be repatriated “as soon as reasonably possible,” according to lawyer barbara jackman, who was representing one of the four men. the foreign ministry said in a statement that “the safety and security of canadians is our government’s top priority”. human rights watch reported that more than 42,400 foreign citizens, most of them children, have been held in life-threatening conditions in is camps across syria. the canadian government’s decision to bring back the detainees was made in order to safeguard the safety of its citizens and adhere to the court’s ruling.