Lawyer calls for Canada to bring 'ISIS bride' and her newborn son home
A so-called Canadian “ISIS bride” who is stuck in a Syrian refugee camp with her newborn baby has been given no indication of coming home, despite the increasingly dangerous living conditions her family is facing.
Aimee, whose last name CTV News has previously agreed not to reveal, gave birth to her third son Mohammed last week while living among the hundreds of fellow widows of former ISIS fighters in a special section of the al-Hawl refugee camp in eastern Syria.
Aimee travelled to Syria from Alberta four years ago with her Canadian husband who later died in fighting for ISIS. She later married another fighter, but he was killed as well. Mohammed is her second husband’s son.
CTV News’ Paul Workman profiled Aimee’s story in February as she pleaded to come home, but since then there has been little action on the part of the Canadian government, while the conditions at the camp have worsened.
Earlier this year, a British ISIS bride gave birth to a child in the same camp, but the baby died three weeks later from pneumonia. More recently, some of the women have been assaulted by Kurdish guards at the camp, while one woman was allegedly strip-searched.
Clive Stafford Smith, a human rights lawyer based in the U.K., said Canada is abandoning its responsibilities by not bringing Aimee and her family home.
“It's just immoral not to take a little infant like that back to Canada,” he said. “That's dreadful.”
“Whatever you say about the mother -- who’s a young woman -- you can't say that this little infant is anything but a needing, innocent child."
In the past few weeks, France, Sweden, Germany and the United States have all removed women and children out of Syrian refugee camps, but Global Affairs Canada said it considers the camp too dangerous to offer direct support to detained Canadians.
"The Government of Canada is engaged in these cases and is providing assistance -- to the limited extent possible," the agency said in a statement.
Family members of some Canadians in Syria say the government has been unresponsive and has blocked some of the ISIS brides from returning home.
People who have been in contact with the refugees say the conditions at the camp are getting worse, while supplies are running dry.