Werewolf: Gordon Campbell on justice for Kiwi jihadis

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Mark Taylor, the Kiwi recruit to ISIS, ultimately put himself in the hands of the Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

That was smart of him, and/or lucky. The Kurds seem to be the only forces offering anything like due process to their ISIS captives, and have refused to impose the death penalty on them. As the Israeli Haaretz newspaper has reported:

After defeating ISIS in battle, Syria’s Kurds are now eager to show they can bring justice against the group’s members. The emphasis is on leniency and reconciliation — in marked contrast to Iraq, where harsh and swift verdicts on ISIS suspects seem geared to vengeance.

Reportedly, roughly 400 ISIS foreign fighters and their families – comprising about 2,000 women and children – are being held by the Kurds. To their dismay, the Kurds are finding that (a) France and other European countries don’t want their citizens back and seem happy to abandon them to the tender mercies of local courts inside Syria and Baghdad and in any case (b) these countries don’t recognize the authority of Kurdish-run courts, since the Kurds don’t have a homeland recognized by the global community. Ironically, the only courts with any commitment at all to just procedures are the ones the outside world deems to have no authority. At the same time, the outside world shows no interest in intervening in those countries that it does recognize, even though they’re handing out vigilante “justice” to foreigners.

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