Two Dutch women and three children escaped a Syrian prison camp in Al Hol and reported to the Dutch embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara with a request to return to the Netherlands, the government said in a letter to parliament on Thursday. "The women and children are currently in Turkish detention, awaiting prosecution and/or deportation by the Turkish authorities", the government wrote, NU.nl reports.
The conservative VVD party is willing to discuss retrieving the children of Dutch jihadists from Syria and bringing them back to the Netherlands, but only if their parents do not come with them, parliamentarian Dilan Yesilgoz said on television show Pauw. Up until now the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte always outright refused to negotiate on this topic.
"When it comes to children, that of course also affects me. Especially if they are small children", VVD MP Yesilgoz said on the television program. "They didn't choose this themselves."
Krista van T., a 31-year-old woman from Limburg who went to join terrorist organization ISIS with her husband in 2014, is now a widow living in a crowded refugee camp in northern Syria with her four children. She is pleading for the Dutch government to allow her children back to the Netherlands - even if it is without her, she said to newspaper Trouw.
Karenia J. from Zwolle died in a Syrian prison camp from illness and malnutrition two weeks ago. As the Belgian man she married in the ISIS caliphate also died, presumably on the battlefield, their two young children are now orphans. They are being taken cared for in the area, though exactly what this entails is unclear, AD reports.
At least six Dutch women who went to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq asked the Dutch courts to have them arrested. They are currently in Kurdish camps with 11 Dutch children, and hope to be able to return to the Netherlands in this way, AD reports.
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer is calling on the government to bring Dutch kids stuck in camps in Syria back to the Netherlands. "Doing nothing is unacceptable and in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child", she said on Thursday. "The Netherlands must to everything in its power to bring these children back." ANP reports.
Later this week trucks full of tents, blankets, sustainable food, clothes and shoes will be heading to The Jungle refugee camp in Calais and France.
A group of water engineers, led by Dutch engineering firm Grontmij, has come up with a plan to prevent the refugee camp in the South Sudanese town Bentiu turning into a swamp during the raining seasons. The project is estimated to cost 20 million euros, of which the Netherlands will contribute 5.4 million. Other financiers include the United Nations, the European Union and Switzerland.
Amsterdam is sending 1,400 abandoned bicycles from the bike depot in the western harbor area to the refugee camp Al Za'atari in Jordan.
The UN refugee camp Al Zaatari in the north of Jordan is going to receive aid from the municipality of Amsterdam, the Association of Dutch Municipalities and the cabinet, to help solve problems such as waste management and water access.
A special art piece of the mysterious, but world-famous graffiti artist, Banksy, will be projected on the façade of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on Thursday evening, starting at 19:30, on the Museum square side. The huge projection will be visible for a couple of hours.