The U.N.'s human rights chief says there are only two options for dealing with the tens of thousands of suspected ISIS fighters currently detained in Syria and Iraq: They must be either tried or let go, and their families cannot be detained indefinitely.
Some 55,000 suspected ISIS fighters and their family members have been swept up and detained since ISIS was effectively toppled and lost control of its territory, the UN says.
"It must be clear that all individuals who are suspected of crimes — whatever their country of origin, and whatever the nature of the crime — should face investigation and prosecution, with due process guarantees," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said. She also warned that flawed trials "can only serve the narrative of grievance and revenge."
"And the continuing detention of individuals not suspected of crimes, in the absence of lawful basis and regular independent judicial review, is not acceptable," Bachelet added.
The U.N. official highlighted the ISIS detainee issue during her remarks at a session of the Human Rights Council, saying it was not receiving the attention it deserves.
As an example, Bachelet cited the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, where some 11,000 people who are believed to be the wives and children of foreign ISIS fighters are living in what she called "deeply substandard conditions."
"Foreign family members should be repatriated, unless they are to be prosecuted for crimes in accordance with international standards," Bachelet added.
Source: NPR News.