France’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet has said that 300 convicted jihadists are soon to be released from the country’s jails after serving their time for going to fight for the so-called Islamic State in Syria.
In 2020, 43 will be released from prisons in France, while around 60 more will be freed in 2021, and by 2023 this number will have reached nearly 300.
The minister made the announcement this morning (Monday) while speaking on RTL’s morning show. She said that 43 jihadists would be released in 2020 and that “around 60 more” would be set free in 2021.
She added that the “security services follow them closely” after their release.
In January, Flavien Moreau, the first jihadist sentenced in France on his return from Syria, was released from prison.
He had been sentenced in 2014 to seven years in prison for “association of criminals for the preparation of an act of terrorism”.
Deradicalisation efforts in prison have so far proved inconclusive.
Naima Rudloff, general counsel at the Paris Court of Appeal and head of the action department for anti-terrorism and threats to state security had warned in 2018 of the difficulties in steering people away from radical ideology, saying: “I am not sure that we can ensure successful deradicalisation during their time in prison.”
She added : “Pretending to be done with terrorism is not enough to constitute proof. It is only after release from prison that this begins but so does the risk. And when it comes to terrorism, the risk of reoffending is very high.”
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