Shamima Begum loses UK citizenship appeal | Courts News
Begum, 23, loses bid to overturn 2019 decision to revoke her citizenship on national security grounds.
Shamima Begum, the British national who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join ISIL (ISIS), has lost her latest challenge over the United Kingdom government’s decision to deprive her of citizenship.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission – a tribunal that considers appeals against decisions to remove citizenship on national security grounds – dismissed Begum’s appeal at a hearing on Wednesday.
She left London in 2015 aged 15 and travelled with two school friends to Syria, where she married an ISIL fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died as infants.
She was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019. Shortly after, she was found in a detention camp in Syria.
Begum, now 23, challenged that decision at a hearing in London last November.
Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba, reporting from London, said Wednesday’s ruling was “clearly a setback” for Begum.
“She is still in the camp in northern Syria where she was found to be living in 2019, four years after she left her home in east London to go to Turkey and on to Syria into the so-called caliphate run by ISIL,” Baba said.
“But this is not the end of the legal challenge that she can bring, she can go to the Court of Appeal here in the UK and the Supreme Court after that,” he added.
“Her lawyers have even suggested it could go to the European Court of Human Rights, too.”
Her legal team argued that the Home Office – the UK’s interior ministry – had failed to investigate whether she was a “child victim of trafficking”.
They also said that then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid had “pre-determined” that Begum’s British citizenship should be revoked before he received any evidence from officials.
Javid argued at the time that Begum was a threat to national security. He also said she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship, the birth country of her parents.
Bangladeshi authorities said Begum did not have dual citizenship and had never visited the South Asian nation. They also ruled out granting her Bangladeshi nationality.
International law forbids countries from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship.