Switzerland pressured to repatriate its jihadists from Syria

An alleged Jihadist is escorted by French police onto an airplane bound for Paris (24 September 2014). Keystone

Syrian Kurdish forces have called on more than 40 countries, including Switzerland, to repatriate their nationals who are accused of being jihadists. Bern has not responded, according to a Wednesday report by Swiss public television, RTS.

This content was published on October 10, 2018 minutes

Four Swiss nationals - one man, three women and a young child - are currently detained by Kurdish forces in northern Syria, according to the same source. They are among other detainees suspected of having joined and fought in the ranks of the Islamic State group.

In total, some 900 Islamic State fighters are being held in prisons or camps in northern Syria, according to a Syrian Kurdish spokesman.  Kurdish forces are also holding between 400 to 500 women and 1000 children from 44 countries.

Abdulkarim Omar has turned to Twitter to put pressure on countries to take back these insurgents and their families.

“We confirm that we will not prosecute Isis fighters in our region (Rojava, North Syria), every country should repatriate their citizens and [prosecute] them on their soil,” he wrote on the microblogging site.

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RTS reported that a federal security group has been working for several months on the issue of how to deal with Swiss nationals detained in Syria but has yet to reach a consensus.

The U.S.-led global coalition to fight ISIS partnered with the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic forces to root out the jihadists from Syria and Iraq.

There has been no uniform approach on how to deal with former ISIS fighters captured in Syria or Iraq, whether local or foreign. The rule of law is largely lacking in both war-torn nations.

Western governments have been reluctant to bring citizens home with some states opting to revoke their citizenship instead.

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