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16 Australian women being repatriated from northeast Syria will be detained immediately on arrival

October 11, 2022 at 11:33 am

A handout picture taken on February 15, 2021 shows a 26-year-old woman (R), who had held New Zealand and Australian citizenships, and her two children escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers after trying to enter Turkey illegally from Syria at Reyhanli district in Hatay [AFP via Getty Images]

Sixteen Australian women who will be repatriated from camps in northeast Syria will be detained immediately on arrival in Australia.

The women and 42 children, who will also return to Australia, are wives and children of former Islamic State members and have been kept in camps since March 2019.

According to the WSWS, some of the women will appear in court, others will be charged with terrorism-related offences.

Some will be subject to control orders under which they will wear electronic tags and have their social media activity, internet use, communications, movements and associates monitored.

The children, 25 of whom are eight years old or under, will be placed with family, whilst others will go into state care.

The women are currently being held in the Al-Hawl and Roj detention camps in northeast Syria where conditions have been described by Human Rights Watch as inhuman and degrading. There is little food, clean water and limited access to healthcare and education in the camps. In 2021, 74 children died in Al-Hawl including eight children who were murdered.

READ: 100 Syrian families displaced in Lebanon camp fire

In February there was a shooting in the camp and one child was killed and three women and three children were hospitalised.

At the beginning of this month the Australian government said it is launching a mission to rescue dozens of Australian women and children trapped in the detention camps.

Several of the women have said they are not there of their own free will and that they were coerced into travelling to Syria by their husbands.

One Australian was just 14 when she was trafficked into Syria and forced into a marriage to a member of Daesh.

In March Save the Children called on governments to repatriate foreign children in the camps for fear they could be stuck there for 30 years if repatriations continued at the same rate.

There are also 18,000 Iraqi children in the camps who need to be repatriated. In total there are over 7,300 minors from 60 countries.

READ: Iraq security committee visits Syrian Al-Hawl camp to expedite repatriating Iraqis