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UN Rights Chief Says Relatives of Ex-IS Fighters Should Go Home

Rawan Aboud, the wife of an Islamic State militant, is pictured in Syria. (file photo)

Thousands of relatives of former foreign fighters in the extremist group Islamic State (IS) should be repatriated, the U.N. human rights chief said on June 24 , adding that children in particular have suffered "grievous violations" of their rights.

"Foreign family members should be repatriated, unless they are to be prosecuted for crimes in accordance with international standards," Michelle Bachelet said in her opening speech at the UN Human Rights Council, which started its annual summer session in Geneva.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. (file photo)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. (file photo)

She said more than 55,000 suspected IS fighters and their families have been detained in Iraq and Syria.

Bachelet warned countries against revoking the citizenship of people who went to fight for IS in Syria or Iraq.

"Rendering people stateless is never an acceptable option," she said, adding that some countries have made efforts to repatriate some nationals.

Many European countries have been reluctant to take back their nationals.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa