Foreign fighters - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (23.08.19)

Q - The United States is specifically requesting the Europeans to repatriate their nationals who were jihadists and are being detained by the Kurds in Syria, otherwise it is threatening to send them back itself to their country of origin. Is France going to respond to this demand or is it still ruling out any return of its adult nationals ?

A - France’s position is unwavering with respect to adult French nationals – men and women – who joined Daesh to fight in the Levant: They must be tried as close as possible to the places where they committed their crimes. It is a matter of both justice and security. We respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi state, including that of its judicial institutions, which declared that they have jurisdiction to try French fighters who are members of Daesh, without any financial compensation having ever been made. The Iraqi authorities know that France is opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances and that it asks that these sentences not be enforced.

Lastly, France underscores its ongoing campaign against terrorism and its determination to ensure that justice is served everywhere that Daesh has committed its barbaric crimes.