Trinidad mother reunited with her sons taken by ISIS father to Syria
A mother from Trinidad and Tobago has spoken of her relief after being reunited this week with her two sons who were abducted by their father and taken to ISIL-held territory in Syria four years ago.
Felicia Perkins-Ferreira braved sub-zero temperatures as part of a nearly 10,000km odyssey that began in the balmy Caribbean islands and ended in the icy hinterlands of northern Syria, where Ayyub, seven, and Mahmud 11, were being held by Kurdish forces.
The Trinidad and Tobago government had at first appeared reluctant to assist the boys but as the case drew international attention, including support from a leading human rights lawyer and a rock star, it quickly issued passports to facilitate the family’s travel.
“I was really shocked,” Perkins-Ferreira told Al Jazeera on Wednesday, after her trip. “I started crying and I just really wanted them to be out from there immediately.”
Perkins-Ferreira, who is now in London receiving support by the UK-based campaign group Reprieve, added that her youngest son, Ayyub, who was taken to Syria just after his third birthday handed her a gift of a thousand Syrian pounds when they met and immediately told her: “Mummy, I’m ready to go home.”
Clive Stafford-Smith, the lawyer of Perkins-Ferreira and founder of Reprieve, heaped praise on the Trinidad and Tobago government, which he expects will permit the family to return home later this week.
Meanwhile, a prominent imam who has helped Trinidadian nationals leave Syria called on authorities to help less high-profile nationals who are still trapped in the war-torn country.
Source: Al Jazeera