Canadian federal court orders repatriation of four citizens detained in Syria


Jan. 21 (UPI) — Canada’s Federal Court has ruled that the government must repatriate four of its citizens being held in detention centers in northeastern Syria run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

“There is no evidence any of them have been tried or convicted, let alone tried in a manner that recognized or sanctioned by international law,” reads the text of the court’s decision Friday.


One of the four men, Jack Letts, dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by media outlets, admitted to having joined ISIS during a 2019 interview. Letts, who is a dual national of Canada and Britain, had his British citizenship revoked in 2019.

Tens of thousands of ISIS suspects, as well as their relatives, are held in SDF-run detention camps. Amongst them are a number of foreign nationals suspected of coming to Syria to join the Islamic State.

On Thursday, the Canadian government agreed that it would repatriate 19 Canadian women from the Kurdish lead administration in northeastern Syria.

A Human Rights Watch investigation found that, as of 2022, more than 42,000 foreigners were being held by the SDF. According to the investigation, the majority of the foreign detainees are children.