Denmark charges 3 women with aiding terrorist activities after evacuating them from Syrian detention camp with their 14 children

Authorities in Denmark have arrested and preliminarily charged three women after they arrived back in the country, following a joint evacuation operation with Germany to evacuate people from the Roj detention camp in Syria.

Danish officials evacuated the three women and 14 children with them from detention camps in northeastern Syria after domestic political pressure threatened to bring down the government with a vote of no confidence if they didn’t repatriate them. 

Prosecutors in Denmark will continue with their investigation before deciding whether to formally charge the women, who all have Danish citizenship, and set a date for their trial. They are due to appear before a judge on Thursday, who will decide if they are to be remanded in custody.

The decision to preliminarily charge the trio comes as Denmark weighs evacuating more children from detention camps in Syria – but without their mothers, who have been stripped of their citizenship due to their ties to ISIS. “It might be necessary to evacuate more children from Syria, but no more parents,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday.

While Denmark allowed the three women and their children to return, Germany took in eight women and 23 children from the same camp, similarly arresting the mothers as part of a criminal investigation over their links to ISIS.

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As is the case in Denmark, German officials acknowledged that citizens have the right to return home, but said that these individuals will “answer for their acts” and be prosecuted in the country’s courts.

It is believed that hundreds of European citizens who joined ISIS are currently being held in Kurdish-run detention camps in northern Syria.

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