Repatriation of French children from Syria: personalities mobilize

the essential Audrey Fleurot, Bruno Solo or Philippe Torreton are among the dozens of celebrities committed to the repatriation of children of jihadists detained in Syria. With a system of “sponsorship” they hope to accelerate the returns to France of these children.

“The living conditions are already atrocious in the camp and the approach of winter terrorizes us” announces Sophia Aram, who is among the dozens of personalities who have launched a campaign to “sponsor” French children of jihadists detained in the Roj camp in Syria. This Tuesday 19 October, the organizers put pressure on the French authorities and in order to obtain their repatriation.

Between 180 and 190 children of Al-Hol and Roj camps are concerned as well as a hundred of mothers according to lawyer Marie Dosé. “Some are barely five years old and arrived in January 2017. If nothing is done, they would spend their fourth winter in Syria” warns the lawyer in the columns of the World .

The campaign provides for the sponsorship of children living in the camp guarded by Kurdish forces, in northeastern Syria, and the sending of letters to the Elysee and various ministries to demand their repatriation. Among the “godfathers” involved are movie personalities – Jacques Doillon, Mia Hansen-Love, Audrey Fleurot, Carole Bouquet, Charles Berling, Philippe Torreton, etc. – or the writers Dan Franck and Marie Desplechin.

19 children repatriated by France

This operation “does not want to be humanitarian but very political” specified at the microphone of France Inter the producer Fabienne Servan-Schreiber on Tuesday. So far 35 children, mostly orphans, have been repatriated by France. Paris believes that adults should be tried on the spot.

According to lawyer Marie Dosé, another organizer of this campaign, “France must stop relying on its policy of return on a case-by-case basis”. According to her, Paris should imitate Germany and Denmark who repatriated in a vast humanitarian operation, on October 7, 11 women, who had joined the Islamic State group, and 35 children.

End 2020, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child considered that France, contrary to what it says, “exercises jurisdiction over these children” and must ensure that they are treated and protected in accordance with the international conventions it has signed.

62% are under twelve

Malnutrition, diseases, health insecurity, fires are the common lot of the Roj and Al-Hoj camps where 62 children have died since the beginning 2021, according to a report published at the end of September by the NGO Save the Children. Of the 180 French children present in this camp, 62% are under twelve years old, a estimated the child psychiatrist Serge Hefez – one of the “godfathers” – who argues that their support “would be a small drop of water” for the legal system and the French health care system.

Some children have already spent three winters in one of these camps in northeastern Syria “where there is nothing but dust” and “omnipresent dangers,” said the grandmother of four stranded there. -bas, the last of which will be three years old. “The oldest years old spends his days looking for water or repairing leaks in the tent, tasks that do not should not be the responsibility of children, “she continued,” she misses school.

Each sponsor received photos, sound recordings and other details of these children detained in the camp which houses tens of thousands of displaced people, including families of foreign jihadists from the Islamic State group. The goal is to “embody them, to bring them back, and to tell them that another France exists than that which refuses to repatriate them”, summarizes Ms. Aram. “My godson is years old. The only element I have of him is a photo: he is blond, he has blue eyes , my gaze fixed on me. This gaze caught my attention, “describes one of the” godmothers “, stylist Carole Caufman. “My grandfather was arrested in 1942. He died in Auschwitz. I belong to those tragedies. At the time, France was deaf. But in 2021 we can’t say we didn’t know, “she said.

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