Shamima Begum's family challenge decision to strip her of British citizenship

David Harding
Contributor
Shamima Begum and Sajid Javid (PA)

Islamic State bride Shamima Begum’s family are reported to have begun legal proceedings to review the decision to strip her of British citizenship.

Ms Begum was one of three schoolgirls to leave Bethnal Green to join the terror cult in 2015 and resurfaced at a Syrian refugee camp last month.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked the teenager’s British citizenship in a move only permissible under international law if it does not leave the individual stateless.

Shamima Begum

It was speculated that Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, may have citizenship there but Bangladesh’s minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam denied this.

She was 15-years-old when she fled the UK for Syria.

When she arrived she married an ISIS fighter and had three children, all of whom have died, he latest in recent weeks.

Shamima Begum was 15 when she fled to Syria (BBC)

After it emerged she was a refugee camp in Syria, she gave an interview where seemed ambivalent about ISIS atrocities.

The Guardian reports that appeals against this decision have been made with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Tasnime Akunjee, who represents Ms Begum’s family, questioned how the removal of citizenship could be proportionate when people who have ‘actively fought’ for Islamic State have not faced the same treatment.

He told the paper: ‘The decision is wrong because it renders Begum stateless, it puts her life at risk and breaches her right to family life.

‘The government have accepted that 400 people have picked up a gun and actively fought for Isis and they been allowed back to Britain.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid (PA)

‘So how can it be proportionate for a 19-year-old girl who had a child not to be allowed to return, when the others have been allowed to return?’

The decision to revoke the teenager of her British citizenship was taken by Javid on Friday.