Dutch gov’t allowed to strip nationality from 6 who joined terrorist groups in Syria
The Dutch government acted lawfully when it stripped six Dutch-Moroccan dual citizens of their Netherlands nationality on allegations that they traveled to Syria to join Islamic extremist group ISIS or other terrorist groups. The Council of State issued a ruling on Friday saying that the former state secretary for justice and security had sufficient reason to revoke their Dutch nationality several years ago.
The four men and two women lost their Dutch passports in 2017 and 2018. Three of them were convicted in absentia for joining a terrorist group. The other three were not convicted, but lost their nationality on the basis of official intelligence reports from civilian security service AIVD.
State Secretary Mark Harbers was able to demonstrate their participation in these groups after the law was amended on March 11, 2017, which gave permission to the Ministry of Justice and Security to take the strict action. The law does not allow the government to revoke Dutch citizenship if it leaves a person stateless. Since the six people in question are also Moroccan nationals, deprivation of nationality was performed legally, the Council of State ruled.
Over the last four years, at least seven people who went to Syria and later lost their passports, eventually had their citizenship restored. This was because the organizations they had joined were not on the official list of terrorist organizations when their passports were revoked, broadcaster NOS reported.
An evaluation from December shows that authorities started 21 citizenship withdrawal procedures. Eleven people have lost their Dutch nationality in total.
The AIVD also estimates that about 300 Dutch people traveled to Syria to join terrorist groups like ISIS, a third of whom were women.