ISIS recruit Shamima Begum gets denied her appeal to regain British citizenship

The ruling means that Begum, who is now 24, cannot come back to the UK with her family. She remains in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

Shamima Begum, also known as the “jihadist bride”, lost her appeal against the UK government’s decision to revoke her British citizenship on Friday. The London Court of Appeal ruled that the former home secretary, Sajid Javid, acted lawfully when he took away her nationality in 2019, citing national security reasons.

The court said that it was not its role to judge whether the decision was “harsh” or whether Begum was “responsible for her own misfortune”, as Judge Sue Carr stated. The court’s only task was to determine whether the decision was illegal, and it concluded that it was not.

Begum was 15 when she left her home in east London with two school friends, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, in 2015. They flew to Turkey and then crossed into Syria to join the Islamic State group (ISIS). Begum married a Dutch Muslim convert, Yago Riedjik, and had three children, who all died.

CCTV footage of Amira Abase, 15, Kazida Sultana,16, y Shamima Begum, 15, when they were in Gatwick Airport about to leave UK.

She was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019, when she was nine months pregnant. Her lawyers claimed that she was a victim of child trafficking and that the government had failed to consider its legal obligations to her. They also argued that the government should have notified her before revoking her citizenship.

The court dismissed these arguments, saying that Begum was not stateless as she had Bangladeshi citizenship through her mother, and that the government did not have to take into account whether Bangladesh would accept her. The court also said that informing her in advance could have enabled her to return to the UK before the decision was made.

The ruling means that Begum, who is now 24, cannot come back to the UK with her family. She remains in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

After the hearing, her lawyer Daniel Furner promised that “we are not going to stop fighting until she gets justice and until she is safe and home,” suggesting that they will file a final appeal to the highest court in the country.

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