MPs call on UK government to repatriate son and sick mother detained in Syria
MPs are calling on the UK to bring home a British child and his severely ill mother from a detention camp in Syria, according to reports.
Calls come after doctors highlighted the mother, who has shrapnel in her head following an explosion in 2019, was unlikely to survive without medical treatment, The Guardian reported.
Around 20 British families remain detained in Syria, according to a report released last February by All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on trafficked Britons in the war-torn country.
Like some other Western nations, the UK has been reluctant to repatriate them, wary of the impact the move could have on domestic security and public opinion.
“Has the UK really become so fearful and so cruel? I urge the government not to risk making an orphan of a young British boy and bring this family home,” Andrew Mitchell, Conservative MP and co-chair of the trafficked Britons APPG told The Guardian.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told the British daily they are reviewing the case of the mother and son “as a matter of priority”.
After years of leading the US-backed fight against IS, Kurdish-led authorities in northeast Syria hold thousands of alleged jihadist fighters in jails and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.
The APPG report highlighted there was "compelling evidence" that British women and children held in such detention camps were trafficked to Syria by the Islamic State (IS) group and moved within the country under coercion.
The report added that there had been systemic failures by the UK government and multiple "missed opportunities" to protect vulnerable people from being groomed by IS.
The United Nations have previously made pleas for all minors held in such camps or jails - where children face death due to appalling living conditions and a lack of basic care - to be returned home.