Former ISIS bride begs UK return

Shamima Begum, an East London schoolgirl travelled to Syria to join Isis in 2015. The Home Office stripped her of her UK citizenship in February this year.

Today a legal challenge over the removal of Isis bride Shamima Begum’s citizenship begun.


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Her lawyer said Ms Begum, now 20, is in “an incredibly fragile and dangerous” position in a Syrian refugee camp.

After leaving London as a 15-year-old, Ms Begum lived under the rule of the Islamic State group for three years, before being found in February.

In February 2015, Ms Begum left Bethnal Green in east London for Syria with two friends. Within days she had crossed the Turkish border and eventually reached the IS headquarters at Raqqa, where she was married to a Dutch convert recruit. They had three children – all of whom have since died. After she was found in February, former Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her UK citizenship.

A four-day preliminary hearing is taking place at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a semi-secret court that deals with cases where the UK government wants to keep someone out of the country on national security grounds.

In submissions to the court, Ms Begum’s lawyers said she had only professed sympathy for the Islamic State group in media interviews to protect herself and her newborn son, who later died in the refugee camp.

The government has said its decision to take away Ms Begum’s British nationality is lawful because she has a claim to Bangladeshi nationality through her family.

But her lawyers say she has never visited the country and does not speak Bengali.

A second stage of Ms Begum’s legal challenge, to be heard at a later date, will look at the government’s allegations that she poses an ongoing threat to national security.


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