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The New Arab Staff

Shamima Begum to challenge decision not to allow her in the UK for appeal

The UK government revoked 'IS bride' Shamima Begum's British citizenship in 2019 [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 June, 2020

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Bride of former IS fighter Shamima Begum is set to appeal a decision barring her return to the UK to challenge the removal of her British citizenship.
Shamima Begum on Thursday will challenge a court ruling that denies her entry to the UK to appeal the removal of her British citizenship, according to media reports.

Begum, a British woman who left London aged-15 to join the Islamic State group (IS), in February lost her appeal against a government decision which stripped her of UK citizenship.

Begum is now challenging a ruling that rejected her appeal to the Home Office's decision to bar her from entry to the UK to further challenge the removal of her citizenship.

Begum was one of three East London schoolgirls who travelled to IS territories in Syria in 2015. In February 2019, she was found heavily pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp and told journalists of her desire to return to the UK.

The UK Home Office subsequently revoked Begum's passport on grounds that she had heritage claim to Bangladeshi citizenship. However, Bangladesh has said she would not be allowed back into the country.

Last year, Begum took legal action against the Home Office at the High Court and the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a specialist tribunal which decides on challenges to removals of British citizenships on national security grounds.

Begum's barrister Tom Hickman QC argued that Begum "is not considered a national of Bangladesh and was therefore rendered stateless by the deprivation decision" at an October hearing.

Begum's lawyers told the court that she was at risk of "death, inhuman or degrading treatment", and could be hanged if forced to go to Bangladesh.

Her legal team also argued that the "wretched and squalid" conditions in Syria's Al-Roj camp, where Begum resides after being moved from Al-Hol camp for her safety, breached her human rights.

In February 2019, SIAC ruled the decision to revoke Begum's citizenship as lawful on grounds that she was "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent" and had not been left stateless.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid was criticised over his decision to revoke Begum's citizenship after her three-week-old baby passed away from pneumonia in March last year.

Begum's two other young children have also died in Syria.

The two-day hearing, due to start on Thursday, will take place before three judges at the Court of Appeal and will be livestreamed on the judiciary’s YouTube channel, according to news reports.


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