Islamic State bride Shamima Begum begins her appeal over the removal of UK citizenship
Image by BBC
Shamima Begum, who fled the UK to go to Syria at the age of 15, is set to begin her appeal over the removal of her British citizenship.
Prior to fleeing, Begum lived in east London and went to school in the city. She, along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, left to join the terrorist Islamic State (IS) organization more than seven years ago, MyLondon reports.
It had been reported that Sultana died in a Russian airstrike, while Abase is missing.
In February 2019, Begum was found in a refugee camp and was nine months pregnant. However, her efforts to come back to the country failed as her UK citizenship was revoked soon after her discovery, on national security grounds.
Begum has challenged the government’s decision and says that she has never been involved in any terror activities. But the Supreme Court did not allow her to return to the UK to pursue her appeal. In an interview taken last summer, Begum said that she was willing to face charges in the UK and appealed directly to the Prime Minister saying that she could be “an asset” in the fight against terrorism.
She also revealed that she had been “groomed” to go to Syria as a young and impressionable child.
Earlier this year, a lot of controversy surrounded Begum when it was reported that she was smuggled into Syria by a Canadian spy. The BBC and The Times reported that Mohammed Al Rasheed, who allegedly is said to be a double agent working for the Canadians, met the three girls in Turkey before taking them to Syria in February 2015.
It was also reported that Rasheed was providing information to the Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to join the IS.
A Special Immigration Appeals Commission hearing started on Monday, 21 November at Field House Tribunal Centre, London, and is expected to last five days, MyLondon reports.
Begum’s family lawyer Tasnime Akunjee previously said in a statement, “Shamima Begum will have a hearing in the SIAC (Special Immigration Appeals Commission) court, where one of the main arguments will be that when former home secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her citizenship leaving her in Syria, he did not consider that she was a victim of trafficking.
“The UK has international obligations as to how we view a trafficked person and what culpability we prescribed to them for their actions.”