The wife and five children of an Australian believed to have been photographed while holding severed heads of Syrian soldiers will face the “full severity of Australian law” if they attempt to return home, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday.
Abbott last week ruled out an amnesty for Australian citizens seeking to quit foreign militant groups and return home in the wake of media reports that his government was negotiating with potential defectors.
The family of suspected Australian Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf would face the same consequences, Abbott said in response to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that Sharrouf’s wife was seeking repatriation with their children.
“If criminals come within the reach of our law, whether they’re male or female, they will face the full severity of our law,” Abbott told reporters.
” … There are criminals who go to jail all the time and they have children, and the children of these particular criminals will be dealt with in the same way that the children of criminals are normally dealt with,” he said.