Canada’s government was ordered to repatriate 23 Canadian citizens held in Islamic State camps, Syria. This includes Jack Letts (British-born Muslim convert).
Letts, who was dual British and Canadian citizens, fled his Oxford family home to fight against IS in 2014 as a teenager.
Sky News previously reported that he had stated to Sky News that he would like to be freed from prison to fight Islamist radicalisation.
Letts, also known as “Jihadi Jack”, was stripped of his British citizenship by the Home Office in 2019.
The Canadian federal court ruled late Friday that the government must return four Canadian men to Canada. This decision came after an earlier agreement to repatriate six children and 13 women held in camps in northeast Syria.
This follows a court case filed against the government by relatives of detainees who claimed that stopping them from returning home to Canada would violate their constitutional rights.
Henry Brown, a federal court judge, directed the government’s repatriation request to be made as quickly as possible. He also requested that passports and emergency travel documents be provided to the men.
Canadians are held in Syria as part of the many foreign nationals living in camps in the war-torn area, which are managed by Kurdish forces who reclaimed the territory from IS.
Judge Brown stated that a representative from the federal government must travel into Syria to facilitate the release of the men, once their captors have agreed to surrender them.
Letts converted to Islam when he was 16 years old and was captured by Kurdish authorities, who have kept him in prison since 2017.
Letts was born in Canada and is now British citizen. This decision follows the removal of Shamima Begum, who received her British citizenship in Feb 2019.
In a interview with Sky News Letts admitted to fighting against the Syrian regime, but said that he regrets being with “wrong people”.