Norway won’t bring back sick boy from al-Hol

niqab syria al-holWoman in Syria wearing niqab. By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Norway won’t bring home sick four-year-old from al-Hol

Norway will not help a sick Norwegian boy and his terror suspected mother get out of the al-Hol camp, despite worries about the 4-years-old’s life.

“It is currently not relevant to change policy and bring home adult foreign fighters, or children who are with them, from the al-Hol camp,” Secretary of State, Audun Halvorsen (Conservatives), tells NTB.

The four-year-old boy is allegedly diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. A Norwegian expert physician on the disease and their family’s lawyer are both concerned about the boy’s life.

“We have been following up on his situation for some time, together with our partners in the camp. We have, additionally, facilitated necessary health care,” he continues.

The lawyer will not go into the boy’s condition. He also doesn’t want to say any more about the treatment the boy is receiving.

The 29-years-old mother is being investigated by the Police Security Service (PST) for participation in the terrorist organization IS.

Lung disease

The boy supposedly has been diagnosed in Syria. Professor and Research Director of Sunnaas Hospital, Johan K. Stanghelle, has issued an expert statement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to NRK. Stanghelle believes there are reasons to fear for the boy’s life as long as he remains in the camp.

The boy weighs only 11.7 kilos, according to the statement. That is less than an average Norwegian one-year-old.

The mother’s lawyer, Nils Christian Nordhus, has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to bring the 29-years-old, along with her son and daughter, to Norway. He is supported by parliamentary representative Abid Q. Raja (Liberals). The government thus refuses to comply.

“These camps are not good for any children to stay in over time. We, therefore, prioritise bringing the most vulnerable home,” Halvorsen states. He emphasises that Norway has brought five orphans home from the al-Hol camp.

“We have a need to handle these types of situations discreetly, seen In light of the experience we have had. We will, therefore, not speculate on possible measures or other ongoing operations,” he continues.



The government parties in disagreement

He also refers to other Norwegian contributions to aid the humanitarian situation in and around Syria. The government has supported, among other things, a field hospital from the Red Cross in the al-Hol camp. Women who have been connected to IS are, among others, interned there.

The government parties disagree about what will happen to persons -with ties to Norway – who have joined the Islamic State.

The Progress Party (FrP) does not want the return of foreign fighters at all, The Christian Democrats (KrF) require that both children and mothers should be brought home, while the Liberals (Venstre) have worked to bring only the children out. The Kurdish authorities, however, say no to allow the children to leave the camp without their mothers, even with the parents blessing.

Save the Children, Human Rights Watch and the UN all characterised the conditions in the al-Hol camp as terrible earlier this summer. They implore countries like Norway to take care of their own nationals.

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