French govt sued by mother after underage boy travels to Syria warzone

French govt sued by mother after underage boy travels to Syria warzone
A mother, whose 16-year-old son traveled to Syria for ‘uncertain reasons’ is suing the French government for allowing an underage person to depart the country for a war zone without his parents’ permission.

“One night he told me that he was going to sleep at a friend’s place, as he sometimes did. He left without taking a backpack. The following day he didn’t return or answer his cell phone, which was unusual,” the mother, who chose to remain anonymous, told Le Parisien. The newspaper suggested that he might have joined the jihadists.

The mother added she learned from other mothers in the neighborhood that he had left with a couple of friends to go to Syria via Turkey.

“I did not believe it until he called me the next night. He was in tears and said, ‘Mom, forgive me, I am in Turkey and I’m going to Syria to do humanitarian work.’ I was devastated and angry,” she told the paper.

She said that it was “absurd” that a minor was permitted to travel to Syria from Turkey with only an identity card and no parental authorization.

In 2012, a French governmental administrative charge stipulated that minors could leave the country without parental permission, so long as valid ID was provided. Since this has happened, dozens have left for Syria, reported AP.

“Freedom of movement is accompanied with the responsibility of the police to act to end a dangerous situation,”
the mother said.

“This was the case, but they let him pass. I would like the State to be [held] responsible for the departure of my son.”