Foreign Islamic State terrorists pending domestic trials in north-eastern Syria
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) seems to be determined to establish a special tribunal based in north-east Syria to put the suspects of the so-called Islamic State group (ISIS) on trial after its failed attempts to pressure States to take back detained foreign fighters and ISIS supporters and despite the challenges, the NES might face in setting up a fair impartial tribunal.
The Social Justice Council of the Syrian Kurdish-led NES is establishing a special tribunal to prosecute foreign ISIS members, whose home countries refuse to allow their repatriation and prosecute them, councilmember and lawyer Faisal Sabri told Al-Monitor on 25 March
Sabri said that the council will set up public trials for them in accordance with international laws and human rights covenants and charters.
Sabri pointed out that this step was taken after the European countries refused to respond to the request of the Kurdish-led NES, forming an international court on Syrian soil and sending international judges to try ISIS detainees.
Sabri continued that the date for the commencement of the public trials has been scheduled yet, adding that the Kurdish-led NES called on Eu and Arab countries to accept the return of their nationals including ISIS children, orphans, wives settling in al-Hol IDP camp because “they have been imposing a threat in the camp, which has turned into a hotbed of terrorism.”
On 23 February, Fener al-kait, co-head of the NES’s foreign affairs, also called on the international community to provide support and legal advice for the trial of 12,000 ISIS fighters, including 3,000 foreigners of 50 different nationalities.
Several European and Western countries refuse to take back their own citizens—who spent years fighting alongside the ISIS group—from the detention centers of the NES and to take the foreign families of ISIS members held at the camp of the Kurdish-led NES for fear that they may present a significant security risk to them in the long term.
The uncertain fate of the former ISIS foreign fighters and their supporters held in the Kurdish prisons generates an extensive controversy amid lack of providing any solutions to the issue.
Zozan Alloush, coordinator of the Kurdish humanitarian affairs in “the Syrian Democratic Council” in north-eastern Syria, highlighted that the biggest challenge to the formation of this particular tribunal—despite the existence of many domestic and international challenges—is the global position and the mechanism of the countries concerned to deal with the file of the ISIS members as a whole; on the one hand, they refuse to bring their own ISIS members back home, on the other hand, they reject to conduct any trials against them.
Alloush, who was contacted by Enab Baladi via email, stressed that even though several states refused to create a special tribunal to try ISIS members, many other countries expressed their willingness and readiness to support the tribunal, indicating that they will gain international public opinion.
Regarding the reason for announcing the establishment of the court at this time, Alloush clarified that the creation of the tribunal to prosecute ISIS members is not a new one, but it has been underway since US President, Donald Trump announced the defeat of ISIS on the ground; many meetings and encounters were held inside and outside Syria.
Alloush called upon the international community to deal with the file of ISIS members captured in the detention centers of the Kurdish-led NES and the formation of the special court for their trials very seriously, given their considerable security threats and complications.