The head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov has revealed plans to return to Russia almost 100 children whose mothers had been jailed in Iraq over alleged participation with the Islamic State terrorist group.
“After a short pause connected with solving some complicated legal problems we will bring 94 children home to Russia. These are children of women who had been sentenced to lengthy prison terms by Iraqi authorities. They will be transported to Russia in two groups, the first group consists of 49 people and 25 of them will arrive to Russia already in June this year,” Kadyrov wrote in his Telegram messenger-blog.
He added that all of the children in the first group had been born in Russia and thus remained Russian citizens and under Russian jurisdiction. All necessary papers for the children to cross borders have been prepared.
“The second stage will be the return of the children who were born from Russian citizens outside the country, there are 45 of them. This is a very complicated process, but we will do everything so that these children are raised in their home country, among their relatives. We will address the relatives with a request to pass the DNA test, this would establish the children’s citizenship and facilitate the return procedures,” Kadyrov wrote.
“We are fighting for all of our small citizens. Their ethnicity, religion or actual place of birth make no difference. Their mothers have made a bad choice, they chose the false way and got sentenced to lengthy terms or life in prison. But children cannot answer for their parents’ actions,” the Chechen leader wrote. He called it a “sad fact” that Iraqi laws insisted that small children should remain in custody together with their sentenced mothers. However, he expressed hope that Russian authorities would arrange the handover of the prisoners so that they could serve their sentences at home.
About a week ago the head of the Chechen Republic proposed that all its residents undergo a DNA test to help identify and retrieve Russian children who had been taken to terrorist-controlled territories in the Middle East. Back then Kadyrov also wrote that his special envoy to the Middle East and North Africa, Ziyad Sabsabi, had reached an agreement with Iraq so that all court cases involving Russian citizens would now be considered by the same judge. This will expedite cases, permitting Russian children to return home.
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