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    Two Belgian women in Syria take Belgium to court

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Two Belgian women who married IS combatants and are currently with their children in a refugee camp in the north of Syria have decided to initiate legal proceedings against the Belgian State, applying for summary judgment. The Child Focus Organization has joined their action, indicates Monday VRT editor.

    The two women from Borgerhout were recently convicted in absentia by a Belgian court and sentenced to five years and a fine for participating in terrorist activities, according to the VRT. They have been on Syrian soil for a few years, having followed their husbands who are since deceased.

    The reason for the legal action launched by the attorney of these two women: their desire to see their children leave Syria and grow up in Belgium. It is also why Child Focus, the foundation for missing and sexually exploited children, decided to join the initiative. The foundation believes that it is the Belgian State’s duty to try to bring back any child present in a conflict zone who has one parent of Belgian nationality, to Belgian soil.

     “A certain number of grandparents have asked us to help them because their grandchildren are in camps in Syria or Iraq,’’ explains Dirk Depover from Child Focus. “They are sometimes with their mother; their father being deceased.”

    According to Child Focus, living conditions there may be appalling. “They do not have enough to eat and have no access to health care. Our government must plan a reception for them, in our country, and provide them with assistance.”

    Around 145 minors of a Belgian parent could currently be present in a conflict-afflicted area.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times