2014 archive photos shows a woman and a boy escape from Syria to Turkey following the war in which Isis militants created a self-proclaimed caliphate in the country
Luxembourg’s prosecution remains tightlipped on whether it will issue an arrest warrant for a former ISIS fighter from Luxembourg, who is being held in a Syrian prison.
The prosecution service did not respond to Delano’s request for information following the publication on 26 June of an unsubstantiated interview on Rudaw of a man claiming to be Steve Duarte, a Portuguese national who lived in Luxembourg.
In the interview, the man who is being detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces says he married and started a family since after joining Isis in 2014. He is cited as saying that he is “ready to go to prison” but wants to return to Luxembourg.
He said only: “Any foreign terrorist fighter who returns from a conflict zone to Luxembourg and who is known to the authorities will be monitored by security authorities and, if applicable, prosecuted under law,” the minister wrote.
According to Asselborn, a reform of the Luxembourg law to adhere to the EU directive on fighting terrorism, is underway. The reformed law would strengthen the legal framework in relation to the movement, recruitment and financing of foreign terrorist fighters. Furthermore, since 2017 the not-for-profit SOS Radicalisation has operated a cell working to curb radicalisation in Luxembourg, and in future it is planned that it will help rehabilitate returning fighters.
55,000 people detained
As Isis’ self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria was brought to an end this year, some 55,000 suspects and their families have been detained in both countries. The question of what to do with these people has divided countries. According to the FT, UN human rights high commissioner Michelle Bachelet said in June that states should take responsibility for their own nationals, adding that, “Accountability, with fair trials, protects societies from future radicalisation and violence.” She stressed that family members who are not prosecuted should be allowed to return and that children of Isis fighters had suffered “grievous violations of their rights.”
The FT says that so far, Australia, the US, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium have brought back a small number of children. The UK, meanwhile, revoked the citizenship of Shamima Begum, who left her home aged 15 to join Isis. Weeks later her newborn son died in the camp where she was living.