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Shamima Begum loses court appeal over British citizenship

Shamima Begum loses court appeal over British citizenship

She left the UK for Syria when she was just 15-years-old

Shamima Begum has lost a Court of Appeal challenge over the removal of her British citizenship.

Begum hit headlines across the globe when she left her home in London to travel to Syria where she joined Islamic State group at just 15-years-old.

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 24-years-old, posed a risk to national security and therefore could not be repatriated to the UK.

Shamima Begum has lost a Court of Appeal challenge over the removal of her British citizenship.

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.

"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."

The decision to revoke her citizenship has resulted in a five-year-long legal battle, with Begum fighting to overturn the government's decision.

Her case has been heard at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the UK's Supreme Court.

At the 2022 Special Immigration Appeals Commission hearing, Begum’s lawyers have said was trafficked to Syria for sexual exploitation, and her age at time should be taken into consideration.

However, Home Office lawyers argued: “The assessment made by the Security Service [MI5] was that [Begum's] travel was voluntary and demonstrated her determination and commitment to aligning with Isil (another name for IS, meaning 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant').”

Lord Chief Justice Dame Sue Carr delivered her verdict.

They went on: "She travelled for the purpose of aligning with Isil, and once in Syria she did in fact align with Isil.

"The assessment is that she did that with her eyes open. The ideology of Isil and their uncompromising brutality had been widely covered in the media."

In a ruling today (23 February), Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr said: “It could be argued the decision in Ms Begum’s case was harsh. It could also be argued that Ms Begum is the author of her own misfortune.

“But it is not for this court to agree or disagree with either point of view.”

Featured Image Credit: Sam Tarling/Laura Lean - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Topics: Terrorism, UK News, World News, Politics