Shamima Begum: 'IS bride' can not return to United Kingdom, court rules

26 Février, 2021, 14:13 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • The jihadi bride hopes to return to the UK to pursue a legal appeal against the decision by Sajid Javid the former Home Secretary to revoke her citizenship in 2019

On Friday (02.26.2021) the British High Court will decide whether Shamima Begum, known as "friend of ISIS", who was stripped of her British citizenship for joining ISIS in Syria as a teenager, can return to the country to challenge this decision.

Begum was 15 when she left home to join ISIS.

The then-UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Begum of her British citizenship, arguing that she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizen due to her parents having been born there.

The case could have huge significance for the government, which has revoked the citizenship of about 150 British nationals on grounds of national security.

Lord Reed added: "The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public".

Lord Pannick added that if Ms Begum could not return to the United Kingdom to pursue an effective appeal "the deprivation appeal must be allowed", as there is "no other fair or just step that can be taken".

'That is not a ideal solution, as it is not known how long it may be before that is possible, ' the head of the Supreme Court, judge Robert Reed, said in a written judgment. "But there is no flawless solution to a dilemma of the present kind", the UKSC determined.

He said of Ms Begum: "She married an IS fighter, lived in Raqqa, the capital of the self-declared caliphate, and remained with them for about four years until 2019, when she left from, in effect, the last pocket of IS territory in Baghuz".

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In 2019 she told The Times newspaper that she did not regret travelling to Syria and had not been "fazed" by seeing a severed head dumped in a bin.

The 2002 legislation allowed British-born nationals as well as naturalised citizens to lose their nationality rights, and successive governments have gradually broadened the scope of the powers so that home secretaries can now deprive anyone of citizenship if they are satisfied that doing so is "conducive to the public good" and would not leave an individual stateless.

He argues that the decision to revoke his British citizenship was unlawful because it destabilized him and exposed him to the risk of death or inhumane and degrading treatment.

Bangladesh has said it will not allow Begum entry and that she has no rights to the country's citizenship.

Following the ruling, Sir James Eadie QC told the Supreme Court that the 21-year-old returning to the country "would create significant national security risks".

She can not speak to her lawyers or participate in a hearing by video.

According to Reed, the Court of Appeal was mistaken in ruling that Begum's right to a fair hearing should prevail over other competing rights.

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