Tribune. Sarah is a little French girl. She is an orphan and has been living with her older sister in the Roj camp in north-eastern Syria for three years. Sarah is traumatized after watching her mother and little brother die before her eyes.
Sohan, 8 years old, is a little French boy. He thinks of France, under the tent that protects him as well as possible from temperatures that can rise to minus 10 degrees. Stunned by the cold despite his anorak, he cannot fall asleep. One hope runs through his mind: he dreams of one day going to school in his country, in France.
Sohan’s best friend is 6 years old: her name is Inès, she is French like him. She buried her mother near the camp four months ago. Her mother had been ill for three years and Inès watched her die helplessly. Sohan cannot comfort her and Inès no longer speaks: neither her language nor ours nor any other.
Like 200 other French children, Sarah, Sohan and Inès are currently prisoners in the Roj camp. They have nothing to do with what happens to them and pay for crimes they didn’t commit. Her fate was sacrificed first by her parents and then by France’s refusal to repatriate her.
Sarah, Sohan and Inès are victims: they have chosen neither to go to Syria to join Daesh, nor to be born in a war zone, nor to grow up in a prison camp.
Mr President, you know: these French children are innocent. Why do you refuse to rescue her from an endless nightmare? Almost all came to these camps before the age of 6 and survived there in appalling conditions.
They suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, disease and do not benefit from proper care. They are not educated and only have barbed wire as a horizon.
In 2021, a hundred children died in the camps in north-eastern Syria. Will we make children pay for their parents’ crimes? Will we continue to turn a blind eye to this “Guantanamo for Children”?
Since 1is In January, 77 mothers and children from the Roj camp returned to their countries. Among them 63 Europeans and no French. For fourteen months, France has not repatriated anyone, not even the small orphan she created by refusing her mother’s medical repatriation.
Save, love and protect
Mr President, do not let these children slowly die out in these camps, do not make them ghosts: they breathe, hope, think and dream. Don’t let a devastating hatred take hold that could turn against us. Our duty is to save, love and protect them: while their childhood is stolen from them, their families are waiting for them here in France.
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