France would intervene if French nationals, who fought with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, were condemned to death in these two countries, France’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said on Sunday.
Asked in a television interview on Sunday about how France would react if a French extremist were condemned to death, Belloubet said:"Of course if there was a question of the death penalty, the French state will intervene."
Any such negotiations could involve requests for extradition though Belloubet emphasized that these situations would be considered case by case.
The comments came in the context of a debate in France regarding French citizens who joined terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria and were arrested by the authorities of the two countries.
The French government says so far that it supports the trial of those French nationals in the countries where they are detained, provided that a fair trial is available.
"As a minister of justice, I am of course fully committed to a fair trial," she said.
Lawyers for the wives and children of French armed forces, who were arrested by Kurdish forces in Syria, said they filed a lawsuit last Wednesday against the French authorities for refusing to return them to their country.
"Syrian Kurdistan has no legal presence, and therefore, it is not a sovereign institution, and these women and children are all unjustly detained," the lawyers said in a statement.
Around 40 French armed men (20 men and 20 women), accompanied by some 20 children, have been held in Syria and Iraq; most of them have been held by Syrian Kurds, said an informed source, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
On the other hand, Nadim Houry of the Human Rights Watch said in an interview with AFP on Sunday, after his return from Syria, that the Kurds do not want the trials of the wives of foreign fighters to take place on their land, especially the French, whom they consider a "burden" on them.
Director of the organization’s Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Program managed to enter a camp in Syria that is controlled by the Kurdish factions and where 400 of the wives and children of foreign militants belonging to ISIS gather in.
“Local authorities have not taken any judicial action against them, and they have no intention to do so, and they want to deport women and children to their home countries,” Houry said.
“The Kurds say they have suffered enough with ISIS militants who fought on the ground. These women are a burden on the Kurds, who have no intention of trying them," Houry stressed.