Grapperhaus: Recover Other IS Women from Syria Not Excluded

Retrieve Dutch ISs from camps in northern Syria is certainly not a habit. That was the message of the Ministers Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) and Kaag (Foreign Affairs) in the House of Representatives. But they don‘t rule out it happening again. โ€œWe’re looking at it on a case-by-case basis,โ€ Grapperhaus said. The security situation in the region should also allow it.

Last month, the Netherlands brought Ilham B. from Gouda and three children to the Netherlands. Until then, the government kept saying that the collection of IS-women and children from Syrian camps was too dangerous. But now there was fear that B.โ€ s criminal case would expire if it wasn‘t brought to a Dutch court. And she should not avoid her punishment, Grapperhaus said this afternoon in a debate about the reclaimed IS-woman.

The Minister pointed out that the Gouda woman was a specific case. The criminal court had already indicated several times since the beginning of 2019 that she really had to come here in order to be tried. And last month it was just a little less dangerous in the area where she was in a Kurdy-guarded camp. It was used, Grapperhaus said.

Safety situation is fragile

He added that a Dutch criminal judge may once again request a Syria-goer to the Netherlands. It will be reviewed if there is no other solution, whether the area is safe enough and whether international relations permit it. And then another trade-off can be made, he stressed. Because the security situation in Syria is โ€œfragile and fluidโ€.

A majority of the Chamber supports the decision to bring B. to the Netherlands and understands that information has only been given afterwards. The government parties VVD and CDA, among others, want Syria-goers to be tried in the Syrian region.

But if it’s really impossible, they can live with this solution. They do want Syria-goers to be under long-term supervision and that the House of Representatives should be regularly informed about the state of play.

In particular, the PVV, Forum for Democracy, the Haga Group and JA21 do not find it possible for the Netherlands to โ€œknowingly bring terrorists to the Netherlandsโ€. They assume that this has set a precedent and that many more IS-goers will now be brought to the Netherlands.

MP Markuszower said this morning that โ€œwe all know that Mrs. Kaag really likes terrorists around herselfโ€. This led to a hard collision with much of the Chamber. The parliamentary member Eerdmans of JA21 also thought the statement went too far.