Indonesia probing report of pregnant woman's death in Syrian refugee camp for IS members

Indonesia probing report of pregnant woman's death in Syrian refugee camp for IS members

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard over veiled women in al-Hol camp in northeastern
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard over veiled women in al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, which houses relatives of Islamic State group members. (Photo: AFP/Delil Souleiman)

JAKARTA: Indonesia said on Wednesday (Jul 31) that is investigating a report that a pregnant Indonesian woman who had joined Islamic State died after allegedly being beaten and tortured in a refugee camp in Syria. 

The Kurdish Hawar news agency reported that the woman named Sodermini, believed to be six months pregnant, had been beaten to death in al-Hol camp, which is home to thousands of refugees. 

Her body was found in a tent and taken to Kurdish Red Crescent Hospital, the report said, adding that there were bruises on her body. 

 Sodermini, described as "one of the women of mercenaries", was in her 30s and had three children, said Hawar.

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The Indonesian embassy in Damascus said it was trying to verify her citizenship.

"The conflict and armed violence in Syria makes the verification process harder and complex," said Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesman for the Indonesian foreign ministry.

"Moreover, as reported previously, the area where the incident was located is under a group that is opposed to the Syrian government," he said in a message to Antara news agency.

Al-Hol is located in northwestern Syria, where the Kurdish administration is in power, said Antara.

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Hundreds of Indonesians are believed to have gone to join Islamic State and those who survived the conflict are mostly being held in camps in Syria under Kurdish authorities.

The Indonesian government has floated plans to repatriate citizens from the war-torn country, and enrol them in deradicalisation programmes, but concerns remain they may bring violent, extremist ideology or combat skills with them.

Source: Reuters/CNA/jt(mi)

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