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Judge orders Canada to repatriate 4 men held in Syrian camps

Associated Press
  Kathmandu, Nepal      January 21 2023


OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A judge has ordered the Canadian government to help bring home four Canadian men being held in Syrian camps.

In a ruling late Friday, Federal Court Justice Henry Brown directed Ottawa to request repatriation of the men as soon as reasonably possible and provide them with passports or emergency travel documents.

The Canadians are among the many foreign nationals in Syrian camps run by Kurdish forces that reclaimed the war-torn region from the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Brown said a representative of the federal government must travel to Syria to help facilitate the return of the men once their captors agree to hand them over.

Family members of the men, as well as several women and children, have been arguing in court that the government must arrange for their return, saying that refusing to do so violates their constitutional rights.

A lawyer for six Canadian women and 13 children in the camps reached an agreement this week with the federal government to bring them home.