Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

British government to revoke citizenship of Shamima Begum

Case reignites debate in the UK about how to deal with citizens who joined ISIS but now want to return

The British government is planning to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum, the London teen who travelled to Syria to join ISIS but is now asking for permission to return.

Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer for her family, said Ms Begum’s relatives were “very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship”.

The family were “considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision”, Mr Akunjee said.

Ms Begum's mother received a letter from the Home Office on Tuesday morning, ITV News reported.

“Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision by the Home Secretary to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship,” the letter read.

“The notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served of file today [February 19] and the order removing her British citizenship has been made.”

Ms Begum’s family was told that she had the right to appeal the decision. The government was able to revoke her citizenship because she reportedly holds dual British and Bangladeshi nationality.

Ms Begum ran away with two friends in 2015, when she was 15, and travelled to Syria. Now 19, she says she has recently given birth and wants to come home.

The case has reignited a debate in the UK about how to deal with citizens who joined ISIS but now want to return.

The Home Office declined to comment.

Updated: February 20, 2019 11:37 AM