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Shamima Begum will not be allowed to return to the UK

Shamima Begum will not be allowed to return to the UK

Shamima Begum left the UK when she was just 15, joining ISIS in Syria

Shamima Begum has lost her appeal against the government's decision to revoke her British citizenship.

Following a five-day hearing last year, Begum was given the chance to appeal the decision by the UK government to strip her of her citizenship.

However, during a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which deals with these kinds of cases specifically, a judge ruled today (22 February) that her appeal be dismissed on all grounds.

A key part of Begum's defence had been the claim that she was in fact trafficked to Syria, which was rejected by the court.

Its judgement said: "Despite her age, Ms Begum could 'consent' to travelling to Syria for the purpose of aligning with ISIL: that is a key consideration relevant to national security and the lawful exercise of the section 40 power.

"We know from the case of B that children such as Ms Begum were radicalised to greatly varying degrees. It cannot be presumed in her favour that her radicalisation was at the more serious end of the scale."

Shamima Begum joined ISIS when she was 15.
PA Images/Alamy

In 2015, Begum and two of her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana left their home in London for Turkey.

About a week after arriving in the country, the teenagers then crossed the boarder into Syria and joined Islamic State.

Just 15 years old at the time, Begum went on to marry convicted terrorist Yago Riedijk, and later revealed that she gave birth to three children, all of whom died.

In 2019, the UK government stripped her of her British citizenship, meaning she has not been allowed to return to the country.

The government claimed at the time that Begum, now 23 years old, posed a risk to national security and therefore could not be repatriated to the UK.

A letter from the Home Office to Begum's family at the time read: "Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship.

Begum appealed the decision to revoke her citizenship.
ITV/Good Morning Britain

"In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made."

As a result, she has been unable to leave the Al-Roj prison camp in Syria, where she has been living for several years.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to fight her case.

However, the following year, the Supreme Court reversed the decision.

And in November last year, Begum brought her case once again to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), where she claimed that the decision to revoke her citizenship was unlawful.

Speaking about her case, Begum said that she believes she could do a lot of good if she were allowed to return to the UK.

"I could be used as an example, like you don't want to end up like her," she explained.

"If it stops children making the same mistake that I made of course use me as an example.

"Tell the kids 'don't be like her, don't become like her'."

Today's decision means Begum has been left stateless, and will continue to live in a detention camp.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy/BBC

Topics: Shamima Begum, Terrorism, Politics, UK News