Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 October 2020

Shamima Begum: UK government wins right to appeal against the return of ISIS supporter

The 20-year-old’s British citizenship was revoked after she travelled to Syria to join ISIS while a schoolgirl

Shamima Begum was 15 when she ran away from her home in London to join ISIS. Reuters
Shamima Begum was 15 when she ran away from her home in London to join ISIS. Reuters

The return of ISIS supporter Shamima Begum to the UK to fight the withdrawal of her British passport has been delayed after the government won the right to appeal at the country’s highest court.

Ms Begum, 20, was stripped of her citizenship after she travelled in February 2015 with two other schoolgirls from London to join ISIS fighters in Syria.

Judge Eleanor King said the Supreme Court should consider a case that raised "points of law of general public importance" after the government argued her return would expose Britons to a greater risk from terrorism.

Earlier this month, three Court of Appeal judges – including Ms King – had ruled that fairness and justice outweighed any national security concerns over Ms Begum’s return.

Ms Begum, whose citizenship was revoked in 2019 on the grounds of national security, is stranded in a Syrian refugee camp.

She married a Dutch member of the terror group, with whom she had three children. The one-year-old girl, three-month-old boy and newborn all died.

The removal of Ms Begum’s citizenship has provoked a heated debate. Her lawyers have argued that the decision was unlawful, made her stateless and exposed her to the risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment.

Ms Begum is British born but of Bangladeshi heritage. The Bangladesh foreign minister has said that he would not consider granting her citizenship.

Updated: July 31, 2020 07:46 PM

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