Ministry allowed Dutch nationality to take away Syria-goers

Six Syria-goers have rightly lost their Dutch nationality, according to the Council of State. According to the highest court, the Ministry of Justice has sufficiently demonstrated that the six were members of terrorist organization Islamic State.

Secretary of State Harbers took away the four men and two women their Dutch passports in 2017 and 2018 because they had joined IS or another extremist organisation. That was legally possible since 2017, as long as someone did not become stateless. Since all six persons also have Moroccan nationality, the Dutch could be withdrawn.

In addition, according to the Council of State, the Ministry has sufficiently proved that the six were members of a banned organisation. For example, three of them were condemned in absentia. Although the three others have not yet been convicted, in their case an ‘individual post of office’ from the AIVD suffices to the Council of State, which showed that the persons had joined terror groups.

Tapped on the fingers

In 2019, the Council of State had turned the Ministry into two other cases, because there was insufficient evidence that the sentenced Syria-goers were still members of a terrorist organisation at that time. This was necessary because a new law cannot apply retroactively.

A few years before, at least seven Syria-goers received their passports back because the organisations of which they joined were not on the terrorist list when their passports were revoked. โ€œWithdrawal of the Netherlands is a serious measure with serious consequences. This must not be done lightly,โ€ once again emphasises a spokesperson for the Council of State.

An evaluation carried out in December shows that the judicial authorities have started this procedure 21 times in total. As a result, eleven people have permanently lost their Dutch passport. In total, the AIVD estimates that about 300 Dutch people have travelled to Syria for jihad, of whom a third woman. About 65 of them have returned to our country, most of them in 2013 and 2014.