Finland’s new finance minister, Katri Kulmuni, held
a poll on Instagram last week asking the public whether they should
repatriate “children only” or “children and mothers” from an ISIS camp
in Syria — it looks like “children only” won.
From Sputnik, “Finnish Government Decides to Take ‘Home’ Daesh Children ‘As Soon as Possible'”:
Around a dozen of Finnish women and nearly 40 children are currently stranded at al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria. Their fate has become an important test for Finland’s new, women-dominated government.
The Finnish left-of-the-centre government led by the Social Democrats has decided to bring home the children of Daesh terrorists from Kurdish-run al-Hol camp in Syria “as soon as possible”, the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet reported.
Presenting the decision, Sanna Marin, who was last week elected the world’s youngest prime minister in a move that helped avert a government crisis, stressed that there is no obligation to help their mothers, who volunteered to go to Syria and join the so-called “caliphate”, unlike the children.
In its decision, the Finnish government stressed that the authorities should at all time ensure compliance with Finnish law and international law. The decisions on whether to bring Daesh children back to Finland will be made on a case-by-case basis. The stated goal is to always ensure the best interests of the child. A special representative appointed by the Foreign Ministry will oversee the process.
The government pledged to do everything in its power to ensure that those returned to Finland do not pose any security threats to Finland’s residents. Under the constitution, the safety of those living in Finland must not be jeopardised. However, the government will review and amend the legislation on terrorist activities, if necessary.
Fate of Daesh Detainees Hot-Button Issue in Finland
The fate of 11 Finnish women and 39 children stranded in al-Hol sparked a hot debate in Finland. While national broadcaster Yle last week reported, citing leaked official documents, that Marin’s government had actually prepared a plan to bring back “all individuals who agreed to repatriation”, the foreign minister Pekka Haavisto denied the existence of such a plan. Later, Finland’s newly appointed Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni added fuel to the fire by running an Instagram poll on what to do with the jihadi wives left in Syria after the collapse of the “caliphate”. Following the backlash, she deleted the poll and apologised.
A similar situation happened last year in Spain where they threw open their borders to migrants after their prime minister appointed a majority female cabinet.