Shamima Begum will be allowed to return to the UK to fight for her citizenship

By Alma Fabiani

Published Jul 16, 2020 at 05:19 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

7742

Shamima Begum, now 20, was one of three schoolgirls who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015. Her citizenship was revoked by the Home Office after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019. Today, the Court of Appeal said Begum had been denied a fair hearing because she could not make her case from the Syrian camp. This means that Begum will be allowed to return to the UK to fight for her citizenship. Responding to this news, the Home Office said the decision was “very disappointing” and that it would “apply for permission to appeal.”

Who is Shamima Begum?

Born in the UK to parents of Bangladeshi heritage, Begum was 15 when she left the country in February 2015 and travelled via Turkey to Islamic State headquarters in Raqqa. Once there, she married a Dutch recruit.

Now 20, Begum lived under IS rule for more than three years. In February 2019, she was found nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp. Her baby later died of pneumonia and Begum revealed she had previously lost two other children.

One of the other girls who travelled with Begum, Kadiza Sultana, was reportedly killed in a bombing raid, while the fate of the third girl, Amira Abase, remains unknown.

After she was found, the then home secretary Sajid Javid cancelled Begum’s British citizenship on security grounds. This decision can be appealed in court, which Begum did. Today, the Court of Appeal ruled that she should be allowed to return to the UK to make her case.

How did Shamima Begum lose her citizenship?

In the UK, someone can have their citizenship taken away by the home secretary, for the following reasons: “for the public good” and would not make them stateless, the person obtained citizenship through fraud, their actions could harm UK interests and they can claim citizenship elsewhere. Begum was stripped of her citizenship for the public good reason.

In February, a tribunal ruled that removing Begum’s citizenship was lawful because she was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent.”

Shamima Begum said she was “not afraid of facing British justice”

Begum’s solicitor Daniel Furner explained she had never had a fair opportunity to give her side of the story. “She is not afraid of facing British justice, she welcomes it. But the stripping of her citizenship without a chance to clear her name is not justice, it is the opposite,” said Furner.

Begum’s father Ahmed Ali told the BBC he was “delighted” by the ruling, and hoped his daughter would get justice. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said that the decisions the government had made about Begum had not been “taken lightly.”

When will Shamima Begum be back in the UK?

While Begum is not yet on a flight to bring her home, she will be allowed back to make her case. This means that the government has a few weeks to convince the Supreme Court to review the case before it needs to urgently send a plane to pick her up—this could be a complicated process.

This case is bound to drag on, especially now that the Court of Appeal also ruled that the ongoing risk to Begum’s life has not yet been properly considered. Previously, Begum’s legal team had challenged the move by stating that it was unlawful because it left her stateless, it exposed her to a risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment, and she could not effectively challenge the decision while she was barred from returning to the UK.

For now, Begum will have to wait before returning to the UK.

Keep On Reading

By Abby Amoakuh

Everything we know so far about The Summer I Turned Pretty season 3

By Abby Amoakuh

Dear millennials, you’re wrong for hating on Bluebella’s Strong is Beautiful campaign featuring Team GB rugby stars

By Charlie Sawyer

Home Office to pay TikTok influencers up to £5K to warn migrants not to cross the Channel

By Alma Fabiani

Woman sues Lyft alleging driver repeatedly raped her and impregnated her

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Rihanna faces backlash after flexing wigs during Fenty Hair ad campaign

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Oat milk vs almond milk: the ultimate showdown

By Charlie Sawyer

Justice for Billie Piper: Why she’s worth so much more than her ex-husband Laurence Fox

By Charlie Sawyer

Emily Ratajkowski debuts divorce rings, symbolising the beginning of the loud breakup era

By Charlie Sawyer

What is JoJo Siwa’s net worth? Unpacking the Karma singer’s business empire

By Abby Amoakuh

RuPaul’s new online bookstore Allstore removes anti-trans and far-right books following controversy

By Charlie Sawyer

Donald Trump warns of chaos and bedlam if his name is kept off the US presidential election ballot

By Abby Amoakuh

Sofia Coppola’s Apple TV project with Florence Pugh got axed over an unlikable female character — WTF?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Percy Hynes White speaks out after Netflix confirmed that he won’t return for Wednesday season 2

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

UK medics told not to report illegal abortions to police due to women being wrongly prosecuted

By Charlie Sawyer

Dua Lipa fan and Nicki Minaj fan get into a real-life standoff over internet beef

By Abby Amoakuh

JoJo Siwa reveals she spent a staggering $50,000 on this surprising cosmetic surgery procedure

By Abby Amoakuh

US university launches investigation after trans woman filmed and confronted in women’s bathroom

By Abby Amoakuh

Making ordinary Russians pay for Putin’s aggressions? We take a look at the war’s impact on Russian civilians

By Charlie Sawyer

How to sell feet pics: A guide to the side hustle helping Gen Z pay their rent

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

US politics this week: Biden continues to use TikTok after signing ban and Trump rises among Black voters