'We are victims too' - Families pleaded with teens to not travel to Syria to join extremists
Published 07/10/2015 | 12:47
France is hoping a new series of adverts featuring mourning families will make young people think twice about leaving to join Islamic State and other jihadi groups.
"We are not the parents of a terrorist. We are victims," says Baptiste, the father of a 17-year-old girl who left for Syria.
He speaks to the camera directly, as do the four others, as part of the anti-radicalisation campaign.
The videos, which have been published on the government's new Stop-Djihadisme website, will be posted to social media platforms, broadcast on TV stations such as TV5 Monde, France Televisions and shown in cinemas, according to the Associated Press.
All of the videos direct people to a free hotline for reporting people who could be vulnerable to being recruited.
Earlier this year, the French government launched a video aimed at young French nationals, which counters Islamic State propaganda and dispels myths.
More than 500 people have left France to join extremists in Syria and Iraq — more than any other country in Western Europe.
France has tightened some restrictions, including allowing families to flag their children to law enforcement and put a hold on their travel documents.
An emergency hotline setup for reporting suspected jihadists has seen the number of calls from concerned parents fearing their children may have been radicalised more than double since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.
The hotline received some 300 calls deemed to be of a "significant" nature following the attack, French radio RTL reported.
The site said that most of these callers were parents worried their sons or daughters may be in the process of preparing to leave for Syria and Iraq.