Today an interview with lawyer Michiel Pestman was published in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant in which he discusses the topic of Dutch jihadists traveling to Syria from a criminal law perspective.

'The jihad is absolutely not criminal. An armed conflict is going on in Syria, and when in Syria, the jihadists join a party to that conflict. That is not a crime. In October 2011 the judge held that the Tamil Tigers fighting in Sri Lanka are not terrorists, because they were party to an armed conflict. Armed conflicts and terrorism are mutually exclusive. In principle therefore, jihadists traveling to Syria are also not terrorists.'

Read the whole interview here (in Dutch).

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Prakken d'Oliveira, formerly known as Böhler, is a law firm with expertise and experience in asylum and immigration law, European law, administrative law, international criminal law and human rights. Our lawyers provide advice and conduct procedures before the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD), the District- and Appeals courts, the Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), the Human Rights Treaty Bodies of the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and other international tribunals.