A Trinidad and Tobago national, accused of being involved in ISIS has been sentenced to death in Iraq and the member of parliament for Naparima, Rodney Charles is questioning this government’s next move.
In a media statement issued by Charles, National Security Minister, Edmund Dillon is accused of being in the dark about the situation. He says it has been three months since the matter was brought to the attention of Minister Dillon, in the parliament, and to date, he feels there has been no strong action by the minister.
Below is Mr. Charles’ media release:
MP for Naparima, Rodney Charles, is once again calling on Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillion and Minister Dennis Moses to provide details regarding T&T nationals held in Iraq and more so the T&T woman recently sentenced to death by Iraqi courts for connections to ISIS.
Following a Human Rights Watch report in 2017 concerning TT citizens being detained in Iraqi detention camps, MP Charles questioned, in Parliament on January 12th 2018, whether the Minister of National Security had investigated these claims. Minister Dillon’s response suggested that he was in the dark, advising that T&T was using normal diplomatic channels “to confirm whether there are Trinidad and Tobago citizens in detention camps in Iraq.”
Three months later, and we are still depending on the international media to keep us informed about the plight of our citizens abroad.
Recent articles in The New Arab and the UK Daily Mail indicated that a French and two Russian women were sentenced to life imprisonment for belonging to the Islamic State group (ISIS) by the Iraqi courts. They further stated that “five from Azerbaijan were condemned to death along with a woman from Trinidad.”
“Has this government contacted our citizens detained in Iraq given that many of the women and children who left our shores to go to Syria may have been tricked or forced to accompany their husbands or fathers?” MP Charles questioned. “Was our Ministry of National Security or our Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs even aware of these court proceedings?”
From the article, it appears as though most of these women were forced to join the Islamic State. A 29 year old woman of Algerian origin reported that she left France with her husband who allegedly told her they were going on a holiday, only to discover when she reached Turkey that her husband was a jihadist.
MP Charles had also raised this issue during his 2018 Budget debate contribution which caused an uproar from the PNM Government who were apparently unaware of this information.
Why are we still depending on foreign media when we have spent over $500 million on a non-functioning SSA? Has this Government taken any steps whatsoever to identify and contact TT families held in Iraq? Are there any measures in place to repatriate these families if it becomes necessary?
Like our Venezuelan fishermen, we continue to get daily reports of their impending arrival which takes an inordinately long time to take place.
This Keith Rowley led government continues to be clueless, inept, incompetent and visionless regarding our country’s interest in the global arena.
“That is why the country is belatedly waking up to the realization that they were in 2015 given a well-orchestrated, red and ready, con job which resulted in the election of the worst government ever in our history,” says MP Charles.