Court orders Canada to repatriate nationals held in Syrian camps

Toronto, Canada, Jan 20 (EFE).- A Canadian court on Friday ordered the repatriation of four of its nationals detained in camps in northeastern Syria.

The men are among a number of foreign nationals suspected of being members of the Islamic State terror group and held in the camps in Rojava, also called the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, run by the Kurdish forces after they reclaimed the region.

In its ruling, the Federal Court ordered the Canadian government to request repatriation of the men as soon as reasonably possible and provide them with passports or emergency travel documents. They are also entitled to a federal government representative to facilitate their release.

One day earlier, the government had agreed to repatriate six women and 13 children of Canadian nationality, relatives of IS members

The court’s decision comes one day after the government agreed to repatriate six women and 13 children of Canadian nationality, relatives of IS members who are also held in the same camps.

“The conditions of the … men are even more dire than those of the women and children who Canada has just agreed to repatriate,” the court’s decision said, according to the public Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“There is no evidence any of them have been tried or convicted, let alone tried in a manner recognized or sanctioned by international law.”

The judge also noted that the court was not asked to rule on why the Canadians went to the region and that the government didn’t provide evidence that they took part in terrorist activities, CBC added.

For years, the government refused to repatriate the 23 Canadians detained in Syria, so their families sued to force Ottawa to accept their return.

The relatives accused the government of violating laws and the rights of the detainees by refusing to facilitate their return.

The government argued before the Federal Court that the Constitution does not oblige the authorities to repatriate those who are in the Syrian camps, something that the Federal Court rejected on Friday. EFE

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