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An Effective Form of Judicial Treatment of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Kosovo?

Introduction Following the defeat of Islamic State in 2018 in Syria, thousands of Europeans accused of fighting for ISIS remain detained in Kurdish jails in Syria, while women and children related to these fighters are also living in several camps nearby the Iraqi border. Due to the absence of adequate infrastructure, some ISIS fighters are imprisoned in schools or hospitals without any security. Risks of attacks targeting detainees remain considerable and several fighters have already escaped. Citing security reasons, most Western countries have so far refused to repatriate ISIS foreign fighters of their nationality from Syria, and some countries, like France, are still opposed to the comprehensive repatriation even of  women and children related to these fighters. It is against this backdrop that state authorities in Kosovo initiated a  policy to bring back hundreds of jihadists and their families from Syria and Iraq. This post considers whether the model of repatriation and prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters pursued by Kosovo constitutes a model for other European countries, many of which are considering how to deal…

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The UN Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic A marathon, a sprint, or a hurdle race?

On 29 June 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/77/L.79 to create an Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic. This new institution will have two aims: (1) to clarify the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons in Syria and (2) provide adequate support to victims,…

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Could the Lafarge Settlement provide Reparations for Victims of ISIL?

On 18 October 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to a historic plea deal in the Lafarge proceedings, marking a significant development in the field of corporate accountability and terrorism. In the first ever U.S. prosecution of its kind, the Lafarge corporation (at the time one of the two largest construction companies in the world) and…

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Accountability in The Hague: Recent Developments in Dutch Core International Crimes Cases regarding the Syrian Civil War

A month ago, the Dutch War Crimes Unit announced big news: for the first time in the Netherlands, an individual will be prosecuted for a crime committed against the Yazidis (see also here). The recent focus of the Dutch Public Prosecutor on possible crimes committed during the Syrian Civil War has already resulted in four…

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There wasn’t before, and now there even more definitely isn’t, any legal barrier to providing cross-border humanitarian assistance in northwest Syria

For three long days following last week’s earthquake in Southern Türkiye, thousands of people in northwest Syria lay trapped under rubble, with no help from the UN. The road through Türkiye to the border crossing between southern Türkiye and northwest Syria, Bab al-Hawa, was damaged. Although, to quote the International Crisis Group’s Syria Analyst Dareen Khalifa,…

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