Almost 90 TT citizens, including roughly 56 children, are being held in northeast Syria in life-threatening circumstances as suspected of the Islamic State (ISIS), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) is pleading with the government to return them home.
This appeal is a part of the report Trinidad and Tobago: Bring Home Nationals from Northeast Syria, which HRW will release on Tuesday.
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According to a statement from the group, “The government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken almost no action to assist their return, even though dozens of nations, including the United States and Barbados, have repatriated some or many of its citizens.
“The report calls on the government to bring home its nationals for rehabilitation, reintegration, and prosecutions of adults as appropriate. Many children in other countries are successfully reintegrating after being brought home from northeast Syria, HRW has found.”
Stuart Young, a former minister of national security, established the Nightingale Team in August 2018 to handle any potential repatriation and reintegration of British people in Syria and Iraq.
American officials and family members have called for individuals in the camps to be repatriated. Young stated that authorities were carrying out verification and information-collecting procedures on the refugees and that Team Nightingale would “ensure that the best decisions and actions are taken in the public’s interest.”
Unknown is the team’s current situation.
People were made aware that TT residents were incarcerated in detention facilities by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces when ISIS was defeated in 2019. The bulk of the men was killed, but many of them were survived by their wives and kids who had traveled to Syria and Iraq with their parents, as well as by some who were born there to Trinidadian parents.
According to reports, they endure the dreariest winters and the hottest summers while residing in plastic tents. There are shortages of food and water, terrible sanitary conditions, and even floods.
The event will be chaired by Sterling Henderson, deputy head of news at Gem Radio Five, with comments from Letta Tayler, assistant director of crises and conflict, and Jo Becker, director of children’s rights advocacy at HRW.
The event will be held at the Kapok Hotel in St. Clair, Port of Spain, on February 28 at 10 a.m.