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New Zealand

New Zealand accepts return of Islamic State-linked citizen

July 26, 2021 3:44 pm
[Source: Reuters]

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she has agreed to a request from Turkish authorities to accept the return of a New Zealand citizen accused of having links to the Islamic State, and her two young children.

The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey after they were caught earlier this year trying to enter Turkey from Syria.

Turkish authorities requested that New Zealand repatriate the family.

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The woman had held New Zealand and Australian citizenships. Her family moved to Australia when she was six and she grew up there before departing for Syria in 2014 on an Australian passport.

But the Australian government revoked her citizenship and refused to reverse the decision despite calls from New Zealand.

Earlier this year, Ardern said Australia’s decision was wrong and the country was abdicating its responsibilities by “unilaterally” cancelling the citizenship of the woman.

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