Syria Kurds host conference on Daesh detainees

Now, the Kurds are struggling to cope with the thousands of alleged Daesh members they detained during the battle. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 July 2019

Syria Kurds host conference on Daesh detainees

  • In March, Kurdish-led fighters overran the last pocket of the extremists’ cross-border “caliphate” with support from a US-led coalition
  • Syria’s Kurds have called for outside help to set up an international tribunal

BEIRUT: Dozens of international experts gathered in northeastern Syria on Saturday to discuss how to manage thousands of suspected Daesh members crammed into Kurdish-run prisons and camps.
French lawyers and US-based analysts were among those attending the three-day conference on the challenges still facing the region after Daesh’s territorial defeat, organizers said. Officials of the autonomous Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria, which is hosting the conference in the town of Amuda, were also due to take part.
In March, Kurdish-led fighters overran the last pocket of the militants’ cross-border proto-state with support from a US-led coalition.
Now, the Kurds are struggling to cope with the thousands of alleged Daesh members they detained during the battle.
They include around 1,000 suspected foreign militants held in jail, and some 13,000 family members in overcrowded camps.
With no local court equipped to deal with the large number of militant suspects, the Kurds have pressed their home countries to take them back.
But Western governments have been reluctant to repatriate them or put them on trial at home.

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Kurds are struggling to cope with the thousands of alleged Daesh members they detained during the battle. They include around 1,000 suspected foreign militants held in jail, and some 13,000 family members in overcrowded camps.

“There is global consensus that action urgently needs to be taken to deal with the thousands of foreign Daesh fighters and affiliates, plus Daesh-linked children, currently detained in northeast Syria,” the organizers of the three-day conference said.
“However, there is near-total lack of consensus as to what this action will look like.”
Syria’s Kurds have called for outside help to set up an international tribunal.
Iraq has offered to put suspected foreign militants on trial in Baghdad in exchange for millions of dollars, officials told AFP in April.


Israeli court bars ‘racist’ candidates from September poll

Updated 24 min 48 sec ago

Israeli court bars ‘racist’ candidates from September poll

JERUSALEM: Israel’s Supreme Court has barred two members of an extreme-right party many view as racist from running in a September 17 general election.
The court ruled that candidates Benzi Gopstein and Baruch Marzel, of the Jewish Power party could not stand, quoting a law barring “incitement to racism” by candidates, according to a court statement late Sunday.
Jewish Power members are followers of late racist rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach movement wanted to chase Arabs from Israel.
The ideology of Kahane, assassinated in New York in 1990, also inspired Baruch Goldstein, who carried out a massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron in 1994.
The court rejected petitions to ban the Jewish Power as a party and upheld the candidacy of West Bank settler Itamar Ben-Gvir, who heads its electoral list.
Ben-Gvir acknowledges having a picture of Goldstein in his living room, but has reportedly said it is because he was a physician who rescued Jews targeted in Palestinian attacks.
Indicted 53 times since his youth, Ben-Gvir boasts of having been cleared in 46 cases. He decided to study law on the recommendation of judges so he could defend himself.
He now represents settlers accused of violence, including those allegedly responsible for an arson attack that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian boy and his parents in 2015 in the West Bank, an incident that drew widespread revulsion.
Jewish Power advocates removing “Israel’s enemies from our land,” a reference to Palestinians and Arab Israelis who carry out attacks.
It also calls for Israel annexing the occupied West Bank, where more than 2.5 million Palestinians live.
Alone it was considered unlikely to garner the 3.25 percent of votes cast necessary to get into parliament.
But a deal mentored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw it entering an electoral alliance with two other far-right parties, improving its chances.
The pact drew disgust from many in Israel and among Jewish communities abroad, particularly in the United States.
For Netanyahu, the deal ahead of what is expected to be a close election was pure politics.
He defended it by saying he does not want any right-wing votes to go to waste as he plans his next coalition.