THE HAGUE: The Dutch government said yesterday it wants to strip jihadists who go to fight in Syria or Iraq of their passports, even if they have not been convicted of a crime.
The move came amid growing fears that Western fighters who joined the Islamic State (IS) and other extremist groups in the Middle East will return home to carry out attacks.
“The law will be toughened with the aim of withdrawing Dutch nationality from jihadists who have joined an armed terrorist group, even without a criminal conviction,” the government said in a summary of a letter to parliament from Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.
The action could however only be taken against Dutch citizens with dual nationality, as “no one should be left stateless”, the government said.
Many Dutch Muslims from immigrant families have dual nationality, particularly Moroccan. “Taking away Dutch nationality means these people are no longer welcome in this country, that they cannot return,” Opstelten told journalists in The Hague.
“I will submit the draft law this afternoon,” he said.
Announcing a national action plan to prevent Dutch citizens travelling abroad to wage jihad and to deal with them on their return, the government said anyone “trained in a terrorist camp” or who helps recruit fighters could also be stripped of their nationality.
LONDON: A senior police officer in Britain said yesterday he wouldn’t be quitting over a scandal involving the sexual exploitation of at least 1,400 children by men of Pakistani heritage as disturbing new details of the abuse came to light.
The scandal, centred on the northern English town of Rotherham, has made headlines after an independent report exposed the scale and graphic nature of the crimes and raised difficult questions about whether timidity about confronting the racial aspects of the abuse had prompted authorities to turn a blind eye.
In particular, the report criticised local authorities and police for failing to protect the victims, in part because of misplaced racial sensitivities.