Suara.com – The Australian government said it was preparing to repatriate the more than 20 women and 40 children currently in detention centers in Syria.
They have been in detention since the fall of the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), or Islamic State, in 2019.
Many of them are wives, widows or sisters of IS fighters. Some of them also claimed to have been coerced or lied to so that they finally arrived in Syria and other regions in the Middle East.
One of the leading figures from the Labor party in Australia, Tanya Pilbersek, said the Australian government would follow the advice of security agencies.
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“There are 40 Australian children now living in one of the most dangerous places in the world, in refugee camps,” he told the Channel 7 television network.
“Some girls were taken there when they were young, then married off to IS fighters, some others were tricked, others were forced there.”
“When they come back to Australia, I think it’s really important that they get counseling later.”
“But I think for everyone involved, there will be a high possibility that our security agencies will continue to monitor them.”
Meanwhile Shadow Home Minister Karen Andrews of the opposition Liberal Party told the ABC that repatriating Australians from Syria was “very dangerous” while she was minister.
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“I don’t want to sacrifice Australian officials to go to Syria in an effort to return them,” he said.
“I am concerned about radicalization, not only for women, but especially for children.”
“And thirdly, I’m also concerned about the risk of these people returning to Australia, because they may not be radicalized, but then become radicalized after coming back here.”
Victoria University academic in Melbourne, Debra Smith, who has done a lot of research into acts of extreme violence, said Australia had an obligation to repatriate these women and children.
“I think it’s normal for people to be worried and afraid, but for those who work in this field and those who already understand the process, they already know how to balance the potential threats and what to do to get them back into society,” he said. .
“Only through the integration process can we finally make us all feel safe.”
Save the Children’s Australia director, Mat Tinkler, said Australian children living in detention camps in Syria could die if they were not returned home immediately.
According to him, the possibility that they will threaten security can be overcome with the rule of law and actions taken by security agencies.
“The biggest risk right now is that one of these Australian children could die, if they are not sent home soon,” he said.
“It’s a risk they are facing now and hopefully the Australian government is ready to act.”
Australian teenager Yusuf Zab, brought to Syria when he was 11 years old, reportedly died last July months after he pleaded for help.
Kamalle Dabboussy, who has a daughter and three grandchildren in the Roj camp in Syria, said she had not received any news from the government.
But described the return plan as “relieving”.
“It is everyone’s hope to make sure their children are safe,” he said.
“The welfare of children is of the utmost importance, so it is important that all these Australian women and children are returned home.”
Kamalle said those who were repatriated would later follow safety rules as required.
“The family just wants to take them back and are happy to work with all levels of government to make sure everything happens,” he said.
This article was produced by Sastra Wijaya from the following reports and others.