Danish women evacuated from Syrian camps accused of links to terrorism

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COPENHAGEN, October 7 (Reuters) – Denmark on Thursday announced that three Danish women, evacuated from Syrian detention camps with their 14 children, had been accused of aiding in terrorist activities and of traveling and residing illegally in areas conflict.

Danish authorities decided in May to evacuate the women, who were being held in northeastern Syria for their association with the Islamic State, following political pressure and the threat of a vote of mistrust of parliament. Read more

Women and children were evacuated from al-Roj camp on Wednesday with help from the United States and Germany, with Germany also welcoming eight other mothers and 23 children from the camps.

“Upon arrival in Denmark, the mothers were arrested and preliminarily charged,” Police Inspector Tenna Wilbert said. “Now an investigation and legal proceedings await.”

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, prosecutors must decide whether to confirm the formal charges, paving the way for a trial.

The women were questioned Thursday before a judge, where prosecutors will argue they should be kept in detention.

All three women have Danish nationality.

Denmark is also proposing to evacuate five other children from the camps, but without their mothers, who have been stripped of their Danish nationality due to suspected links to militant groups such as the Islamic State. But that would require the consent of the mothers, which they have not given so far.

“It may be necessary to evacuate more children from Syria but more parents,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told reporters on Thursday.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Stine Jacobsen, editing by Mark Heinrich

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