STOCKHOLM — Swedish prosecutors announced that a 49-year-old woman has been charged with violating international law and recruiting her son, when he was a minor, to fight in Syria.
The detained woman is suspected of recruiting her 20-year-old son to fight in Syria while they were living there between 2013 and 2016 in areas under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Swedish prosecutors expressed that this is the first time that Sweden has charged an individual with war crimes of inciting child recruitment, stressing that there is an absolute ban on allowing children under the age of 15 to participate directly in hostilities during armed conflict.
According to prosecutor Reena Devgan, the investigation showed that the son was 12 years old when he first arrived in Syria. He was trained and armed there and was used in combat for propaganda purposes and in other tasks of the war.
“The woman’s actions were considered extremist because the boy was recruited and used by a terrorist organization in a very cruel and brutal war,” Devgan elaborated.
It was reported that the woman grew up in western Sweden and converted to Islam. She traveled to Syria with her five children in 2013. Her husband was killed in Syria in 2013. Two of her sons, aged 14 and 18, were killed, according to Swedish Public Radio SVT.