(Brampton) Ontario judges have ordered the release on bail of two women who were arrested after returning from a detainee camp in northeastern Syria to Canada last week.
Ammara Amjad and Dure Ahmed were released on bail on the condition that they fulfill a peace bond. However, the terms cannot be disclosed in detail, as they are subject to publication bans.
Both women appeared in Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on Tuesday for separate bail hearings.
They were among four Canadian women and 10 children who landed in Montreal last week after being held for years at al-Roj camp in northeast Syria. Three of the women were arrested upon arrival, while the fourth was not detained.
Another 38-year-old woman was released in Edmonton on Friday on condition that she fulfill a peace bond.
A terrorism peace bond allows a judge to order the defendant to enter into a peace bond, potentially with conditions such as a curfew, or possibly be liable of a prison sentence.
The al-Roj camp is one of two displaced persons camps in the area which is now controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who run the so-called Autonomous Administration of North and eastern Syria.
The detainees in the camps from which the group returned are mostly women and children who were arrested after the fall of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – also called Daesh – in 2019.
Some are relatives of suspected Daesh fighters, but they have never been brought to trial. Women arrested in Canada are currently not charged with crimes.
About 10,000 detainees are foreign nationals from more than 60 countries other than Syria and Iraq; and the Kurds have asked these countries to repatriate their citizens.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last month that countries like Canada had a responsibility to bring home their citizens from the camps, which he said have the “worst possible conditions” and deprive people of their rights.
The latest flight to Canada was expected to bring back more people from Syria.
Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon reached an agreement with the federal government in January to repatriate six Canadian women and 13 children who had been the subject of legal action. The 10 children are all with parents, according to Greenspon.
However, two mothers and three children were not at a designated meeting point and missed the flight, Greenspon said. He added that he expects Global Affairs Canada to try to locate the five people and return them to Canada as well.
A Quebec mother and her six children, who also wanted to come to Canada, are also not among the returnees, according to Me Greenspon.
While the six children were deemed eligible for repatriation from Syria, their mother was told she could not join them because her security assessment was incomplete.
A Federal Court judge ruled on January 20 that Canada must repatriate four Canadian men detained in the camps. The federal government appealed this decision which was heard at the end of March. No decision has yet been made.
A peace bond for terrorism is also sought for Kimberly Polman, a British Columbian repatriated to Canada from Syria last year.