Social Issues

British-born Islamic State woman won’t be allowed in Bangladesh

Dhaka, June 16 (efe-epa).– Bangladesh on Tuesday reiterated that it would not allow British-born woman Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State in 2015, to enter the country after she lost appeals against the revocation of her United Kingdom citizenship.

“Shamima was never a Bangladesh citizen and she has no rights here. There is no scope to give her permission to enter Bangladesh,” Bangladesh foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reacted to the media reports that the British High Court and Special Immigration Appeals Commission dismissed her appeals against revoking her citizenship and mentioned her as a Bangladesh origin.

Shamima was living with her parents at Bethnal Green home in London when she left her parents in 2015 at the age of 15 to join the Islamic State.

Two schoolmates, Amira Abase, who was also 15 at the time, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, also accompanied her to join the Islamist extremist group.

Sultana allegedly died in a Russian airstrike against Al Raqa in 2016, although his death has never been officially confirmed while Abase’s whereabouts are unknown.

Shamima was found nine-month pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year by a journalist, prompting then home secretary Sajid Javid to revoke her British citizenship.

Her family filed an appeal against the decision as Shamima told the journalist of the British newspaper, “The Times”, that she wanted to return for her son to be born in the UK.

The Bangladesh government at that time also refused to take Shamima, saying she had never visited the country or applied for the citizenship.

Shamima’s father Ahmed Ali, who returned to Bangladesh two years ago, said Tuesday that he had no intention to appeal to Bangladesh authorities to give her access to the country.

“I don’t even know whether she is dead or alive… there is no point in applying to the (Bangladesh) government now and we don’t have any plan to do it either,” Ali said by phone from North-east Sunamganj district.

The father said they had heard that she was still in a refugee camp in Syria and her son had died a few weeks after his birth.

“I already begged all to forgive her. I have no clue if she had lost her appeal. She has not made any contact with me or any other member of my family since she left home,” he said. EFE-EPA

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