'Seriously ill' British woman and child in ISIS camp denied help by the UK

UK has been resisting calls to repatriate ISIS fighters and their families from Syrian camps

FILE PHOTO: Women walk through al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo

A British woman and her baby daughter living in a Syrian camp for ISIS detainees have been denied aid by the UK authorities despite a doctor claiming they are in a "life-threatening" condition.

The pair are among thousands of inmates at the Al Roj camp in northern Syria that holds suspected ISIS fighters and their families.

The UK is resisting calls to repatriate its citizens from Al Roj and Al Hol, another camp in northern Syria, who include 35 British children and 15 women, over risks to the public.

Aid charity Reprieve has been in contact with the UK Foreign Office to urge the government to help the woman, according to the Times newspaper.

A report seen by the paper describes the woman as being at risk of dying from a combination of severe asthma and type 2 diabetes and reveals she has been "struggling to breathe for several days and has lost her abilities to walk and eat”.

The child has reportedly being suffering from severe respiratory attacks, resulting in her frothing at the mouth, and is at risk from pneumonia.

Using medical notes, a British doctor has remotely assessed their conditions as "life-threatening".

The charity has been asking for help for the family since August, but officials had claimed they were unable to locate them.

Despite the charity providing precise details of their location, the government again refused due to the "great risk" to its aid partner "if they are seen entering individual tents or looking for specific individuals" and said such requests for help cannot be "supported".

"The question for the government is how many British women or children must die before they take back the small handful of families that remain in Syria?" Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, told the Times.

“It is a pointless and barbaric policy that impacts predominantly on the British children who remain there. As the medical assessments show, these family members, including a child under five, have life-threatening conditions that require proper urgent medical attention. Abandoning this young British family could be a death sentence for them.”

The government told the paper it is willing to repatriate unaccompanied youngsters.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of the UK,” it said. “Every request for consular assistance is considered on a case-by-case basis.

"We have also made it clear that we are willing to repatriate orphans and unaccompanied British children from Syria where there is no risk to UK.”

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