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Shamima Begum Says She 'Didn't Hate Britain' When She Fled To Syria

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Shamima Begum Says She 'Didn't Hate Britain' When She Fled To Syria

Shamima Begum has insisted she 'didn't hate Britain' when she fled to Syria to join Isis.

Begum left her east London home for Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl and has revealed that the decision was something she 'thought about for a while'.

Now aged 22, she denies having any involvement in acts of terrorism and is fighting to have her British citizenship reinstated.

Begum lives in the al-Roj refugee camp in Syria. Credit: ITV
Begum lives in the al-Roj refugee camp in Syria. Credit: ITV
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Recalling why she left the country in 2015, she told Sky News: "I didn't hate Britain, I hated my life really.

"I felt very constricted, and I felt I couldn't live the life that I wanted in the UK as a British woman."

She said she has 'hopes and dreams', such as reconciling with her family 'when the time is right'.

She said: "I don't think they failed me, in a way I failed them."

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Begum married Dutch convert Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in IS territory and had three children, all of whom died.

She said when she goes to sleep she thinks of 'my children dying, the bombings, the constant running, my friends dying'.

She lives in the al-Roj refugee camp in Syria where one of her friends, a Dutch prisoner called Hafedda Haddouch, said she hides away in her tent for weeks.

Begum said: "For a long time it wasn't violent but for some reason it's become more scary to live here.

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"Maybe the women have got tired of waiting for something."

Begum wants to fight the allegations made against her in court, but the Supreme Court has rejected her request to return to the UK and fight for her citizenship.

Announcing the ruling in February, Lord Reed stated that the case would represent a risk to the safety of the public if Begum was in attendance.

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He said: "The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public.

"If a vital public interest makes it impossible for a case to be fairly heard then the courts cannot ordinarily hear it.

"The appropriate response to the problem in the present case is for the deprivation hearing to be stayed - or postponed - until Ms Begum is in a position to play an effective part in it without the safety of the public being compromised.

"That is not a perfect solution, as it is not known how long it may be before that is possible.

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"But there is no perfect solution to a dilemma of the present kind."

Featured Image Credit: Sky News

Topics: UK News, Shamima Begum

Jake Massey
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