Tajikistan brings home dozens of children from Iraq


DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan has repatriated 84 minors from Iraq, where their Tajik mothers are either imprisoned for belonging to "Islamic State" (IS) or on trial in connection with such charges, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Wednesday (May 1).

The 84 children and teenagers landed at the Dushanbe airport late Tuesday (April 30). They were set to undergo medical checkups before relatives pick them up.

Dushanbe thanked the Kuwaiti and Iraqi foreign ministries as well as UNICEF for their assistance with the repatriation.

The Tajik government has repeatedly said it does not intend to leave any Tajik children behind in Iraq and Syria, fearing that they may pose security threats in the future.

Forty-three Tajik women are in Iraqi prisons, Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The repatriation of the 84 children leaves 11 other Tajik children still in prison with their mothers, according to the ministry, reported AsiaPlus.

Negotiations are under way to repatriate those 11, added the ministry.

Earlier in 2019, Tajik Ambassador to Iraq and Kuwait Zubaidullo Zubaidzoda told RFE/RL that some of the imprisoned Tajik mothers had refused to permit repatriation of their children.

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