Sat, 20 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Shamima Begum: Former 'IS' wife loses UK citizenship appeal

Update : 23 Feb 2024, 18:37

A woman who traveled to Syria as a teenager to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State group lost her appeal on Friday against the British government's decision to revoke her UK citizenship. 

London's Court of Appeal rejected all five arguments presented by 24-year-old Shamima Begum.

Begum was 15 when she and two other girls from London joined the extremist group in February 2015.

Authorities withdrew her British citizenship on national security grounds soon after she surfaced in a Syrian refugee camp in 2019.

Her lawyers brought a bid to overturn that decision at the Court of Appeal. Britain's Home Office [Interior Ministry] opposed the challenge. 

What did the court rule?

Judge Sue Carr said: "It could be argued that 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. Our only task is to assess whether the deprivation decision was unlawful.

"We have concluded it was not and the appeal is dismissed."

Despite the ruling, Begum can still take her case to the supreme court. 

What else is known about the case?

Begum, whose family is of Bangladeshi origin, married an IS fighter while in Syria and had three children, none of whom survived. 

In February 2019, Begum claimed she was left stateless by the UK government's decision to revoke her citizenship.

A UK tribunal ruled in 2020 that she was not stateless because she was "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent" when the decision was made. 

Last year, Begum lost a challenge against the decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). 

The SIAC said that while there was a "credible suspicion that Begum was recruited, transferred and then harbored for sexual exploitation," this did not prevent Britain from removing her citizenship.

Begum is one of hundreds of Europeans whose fate has challenged governments following the 2019 collapse of the Islamist extremists' self-styled caliphate. 

Around 900 people are estimated to have traveled from Britain to Syria and Iraq to join IS.

Of those, some 150 are believed to have been stripped of their citizenship.

More on this topic

More on this topic