Creating new perspectives since 2009

Tajikistan repatriates 109 women, children from Syria detention camps

May 23, 2023 at 6:49 pm

Members of the Syrian regime forces stand at the entrance of a detention centre in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh’s Ghweran neighborhood, on July 13, 2015 [YOUSSEF KARWASHAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Tajikistan has repatriated over a hundred women and children from camps in Syria where they have been held for years, as the international community continues to delay in the repatriation of tens of thousands of Daesh fighters and their relatives from the war-torn country.

In a statement by Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday, it announced the repatriation of 109 women and children, including five citizens of Kazakhstan, who arrived by plane in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

“We have repatriated 104 of our citizens, including 31 women and 73 children, as well as 5 citizens of Kazakhstan, a mother, and her four children, at the request of the Kazakh authorities”, a Tajik Foreign Ministry spokesman stated.

READ: Foreign kids in Syrian camps could languish for decades if repatriation doesn’t speed up, says Save the Children

The group of repatriated women and children are the latest such batch of citizens to be returned by Tajikistan from Syria, with 146 Tajik women and children having been repatriated in a similar operation in July last year.

It comes amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis that the detention camps in north-east Syria have resulted in, as the relatives and children of deceased or captured fighters of the terror group, Daesh, continue to languish in the Kurdish militia-run camps of Al-Hol and Roj under deteriorating conditions. A vast majority of those detained are reportedly children under the age 12.

Over 41,000 of the camps’ detainees are foreign citizens, according to Human Rights Watch, and many nations – especially those in the West and Europe – continue to disregard calls by the United Nations and a variety of human rights groups to repatriate their citizens, claiming that they pose national security threats.

READ: Syria: doctors condemn ‘catastrophic’ conditions in Al-Hawl refugee camp