Australia has repatriated a group of women and children who had been left stranded in refugee camps in northeastern Syria after the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group misplaced management of the world in 2019.
In an announcement issued on Saturday, Australia’s Minister for Dwelling Affairs Clare O’Neil stated that the group, made up of 4 Australian ladies and their 13 youngsters, had arrived in New South Wales.
“The main focus has been the protection and safety of all Australians in addition to the protection of these concerned within the operation,” she stated. “The federal government has rigorously thought-about the vary of safety, group and welfare elements in making the choice to repatriate.”
Earlier this month Canberra stated it hoped to rescue from refugee camps in Syria dozens of Australian ladies and youngsters who belonged to the households of lifeless or jailed ISIS fighters.
The 4 ladies had allegedly traveled from Australia to the Center East to marry ISIS fighters.
O’Neil added that Australian legislation enforcement companies would “proceed to have interaction with” and examine different members of the group.
“Allegations of illegal exercise will proceed to be investigated,” she stated.
“Any recognized offenses could result in legislation enforcement motion being taken.”
Rights teams welcomed the repatriations.
Mat Tinkler, CEO at Save the Youngsters Australia, stated that the Australian authorities had “carried out the correct and simply factor.”
“They’ve given these youngsters hope for his or her futures and positioned their belief within the robustness of Australia’s nationwide safety, judicial and resettlement programs to help their protected integration into Australian society,” Tinkler stated.
He added that there have been nonetheless greater than 30 Australian youngsters who had been caught in camps in Syria. “We is not going to relaxation till each Australian baby is introduced dwelling,” he stated.
“We urge the federal government to repatriate them as shortly as doable.”
Sophie McNeill, Australia researcher at Human Rights Watch, stated that different Australians nonetheless held in dire situations with out cost or trial in northeastern Syria must be introduced dwelling too.
“Australia can play a management position on counter terrorism by these orderly repatriations of its nationals – largely youngsters who by no means selected to dwell beneath ISIS,” McNeill stated.
“They will prosecute the adults if warranted.”
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