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France pressured over detained fighters in Syria

January 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Wreckages of collapsed buildings are seen after Assad Regime’s war crafts carried out airstrikes over the de-escalation zone of Hamouriyah district of besieged Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on January 06, 2018 [Samir Tatin / Anadolu Agency]

Families of French foreign fighters captured in Syria and Iraq have filed a legal complaint over their arbitrary detention in Kurdistan, France Info reported earlier this week.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the families claimed that they may not face a fair trial if the French government continue to acknowledge their detention abroad.

“Since Syrian Kurdistan has no legal existence and no sovereign institution, these women and children are all detained without the right to trial” said the lawyers for these families in a statement.

The legal and moral debate began in France early this year, when the government declared it was permissible for its nationals to be tried by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a non-state armed group, if they are given a fair trial.

France: Daesh foreign fighters can be tried by Kurds in Syria

It is not clear what legal processes the SDF will be using or the prison conditions.

Around a dozen French nationals are currently detained by the Kurds in Syria. The detained are believed to be fighters for armed groups in Syria or family members.

France does not have an extradition treaty with Syria, but several French nationals have asked for repatriation back to France.

There are over 1,000 armed groups fighting across Syria and Iraq, the majority of them designated as terrorist organisations or linked with Al-Qaeda or Daesh by states party to the conflict.