Court orders Dutch state to repatriate children from Syria

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court says the government must attempt to bring home children whose mothers traveled to Syria to join Islamic extremist groups.

The decision Monday at a court in The Hague came in a case filed by lawyers on behalf of 23 women and their 56 children who are housed in camps in northern Syria.

The court has ruled that “the children are not responsible for the actions of their parents, however serious they are.”

The government has long said it is too dangerous to go to Syria to repatriate Dutch citizens.

The court says the government must “use all possible means,” including an offer of U.S. help to repatriate the children. But it also says the state “cannot be ordered to take serious security risks.”

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