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Daesh foreign fighters who have committed serious crimes should face an international tribunal, says PACE

The “best solution” for Daesh foreign fighters who have perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes under international law would be to prosecute them before an international tribunal, PACE has said, given the international nature of the crimes committed, and that Daesh fighters come from over 100 countries.

In a resolution based on a report by Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), the Assembly said these fighters constitute “a serious threat to society” but their continued detention and prosecution in Syria or Iraq was “untenable”, being neither human rights compliant nor adequate in terms of security.

Pending the setting up of an international or hybrid tribunal, the most obvious alternative was the prosecution of Daesh foreign fighters in their States of nationality, or in other member states using universal jurisdiction, the Assembly added.

The children of such fighters should in principle be repatriated with their mothers or primary care givers, but states should have the possibility – once the best interests of both the child and of society as a whole have been determined – to repatriate them to their State of nationality, with a view to reuniting them with other family members, “without repatriating their parents”.

Council of Europe member States should also consider bringing before the International Court of Justice “states which allegedly failed to prevent and punish acts of genocide committed by Daesh, in order to hold those states to account under the Genocide Convention”, the parliamentarians said.