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̵6;Last resort’: Australian women, children in court in bid to force repatriation from Syrian camp

LONDON: A group of women and their children plan to take the Australian government to court to be freed from Syrian detention camps, it was reported on Sunday.

Seventeen women and nine of their children will file a “writ of habeas corpus” in the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne on Monday, the Observer reported.

They argue that, as Australian citizens, they have a right to return to Australia.

They also say that their detention is arbitrary, and that Canberra has “effective control” of their detention in the camp and, therefore, has the power to free them, as the Syrian Democratic Forces, who run the camp, will release them upon request. .

Save the Children Australia, which is acting as a litigation guardian for the women and children, said legal action was “a last resort”, after its CEO Matt Tinkler previously described Rose Camp as “one of the worst places in the world”. ” Said. Child.”

These women are wives and widows who give birth to children of dead or imprisoned Daesh fighters. Most have been in the camp for more than four years.

Earlier this week, an Australian child living in a Syrian detention camp wrote to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, pleading to be brought home.

In 2019, eight orphaned children, including a pregnant teenager, were successfully returned to New South Wales and in October last year four women and 13 children were also rescued from Rose.

The Australian government committed to repatriate more women and children, but made no further transfers.

“The repatriation last October raised hopes of the remaining children that they too would soon be out of harm’s way. Instead, they feel abandoned by their country and are losing hope for the future,” Tinkler said.