Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

ISIS member Shamima Begum loses first stage of citizenship appeal

The 20-year-old was stripped of her UK citizenship last year

Shamima Begum was 15 years old when she ran away from her home in London to join ISIS. Reuters
Shamima Begum was 15 years old when she ran away from her home in London to join ISIS. Reuters

Shamima Begum, the schoolgirl who left her home in London to join ISIS, has lost the first stage of her legal appeal against the British government’s decision to remove her UK citizenship.

Ms Begum was discovered in a refugee camp in Syria last year, having left the UK at the age of 15.

Sajid Javid, then home secretary, stripped her of her British citizenship in February 2019.

Lawyers acting for Ms Begum, who is still in Syria, had argued the decision was unlawful because it left her stateless.

The 20-year-old launched legal action against the Home Office at the High Court of the Special Immigration and Appeals Commission (Siac).

Siac argued that Ms Begum had not been improperly deprived of her citizenship concluding she was "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent".

The judgement is a preliminary ruling and the case will now move to consider whether the British government had legitimate national security grounds to stop Ms Begum from coming back to the UK.

Her lawyer Daniel Furner said the decision was baffling and would be appealed.

Her family have previously argued that she has never had a Bangladeshi passport and that she was from the UK.

Ms Begum was one of four teenagers from Bethnal Green Academy, who travelled to Syria in 2015 to marry ISIS members.

She married Dutch ISIS fighter Yago Riedijk and had three children, all of whom died.

Updated: February 7, 2020 04:24 PM

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