2 Canadian Women Repatriated From Syria Detention Camp for ISIS Detainees

2 Canadian Women Repatriated From Syria Detention Camp for ISIS Detainees
Kimberly Gwen Polman, a Canadian national, poses for a portrait at camp Roj in Syria on April 3, 2019. (Maya Alleruzzo/AP Photo)
Isaac Teo
Two Canadian women have been released from a camp in Syria that detains ISIS fighters and their families and are returning to Canada, according to media outlets.
One is Kimberly Polman, who was arrested by Kurdish fighters during the fight against the ISIS terrorist group in 2019. She was detained in Roj camp in northeast Syria for her alleged association with ISIS.
The second woman was described as from Quebec and accompanied by two children, according to Global News. Both women and the children were expected to fly to Montreal Tuesday night.

The Canadian government's involvement in the repatriation effort is unclear.

The Epoch Times reached out to Public Safety Canada for comment and was referred to Global Affairs. Global Affairs said the department could not respond by publication time.

The repatriation of Polman comes eight months after the United Nations issued a press release in February calling on Canada to “urgently” bring her home due to her “life threatening illnesses.”

The release stated that Polman travelled to Syria in 2015 at the request of her future husband whom she met online.

A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2020 included an interview with Polman’s sister, by the name of “Maryanne,” who said Polman had met and married an ISIS member online who “lured her to the so-called caliphate with promises of love and a nursing career.”

Polman contacted her family upon arrival in Syria, telling them it wasn’t what she expected and her husband “was very abusive and that he wouldn’t let her leave,” Maryanne said.

“Then we didn’t hear from her until June 2016. We thought that she was dead.”

When Polman contacted her family again, she told them her husband had put her in an ISIS prison for 10 months for being a “disobedient wife.” She said her captors raped and starved her, the HRW report said.

So far, Canada has appeared somewhat hesitant to repatriate adult citizens from the Syrian detention camps, which detained ISIS fighters and their family members.
Public Safety’s website states that the threats posed by Canadian "extremist travellers"—individuals suspected of travelling abroad to engage in extremist activity—present difficult challenges to both Canada and its allies.
“Given the security situation, the Government of Canada’s ability to provide consular assistance in Syria is extremely limited,” the department said.