Shamima Begum loses appeal to regain UK citizenship

London, Feb 22 (EFE).- Shamima Begum on Wednesday lost an appeal to regain her British citizenship, which she was stripped of for traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State terror organization in 2015.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the British government’s 2019 decision to remove her citizenship on security grounds was lawful.

Her legal team argues that Begum was a victim of human trafficking and that the Home Office did not sufficiently examine this before scrapping her citizenship.

“The motive for bringing her to Syria was sexual exploitation to which, as a child, she could not give a valid consent,” justice Robert Jay said.

He added, however, that the arguments presented by her defense team were not sufficient to overturn the government decision to revoke her citizenship on national security grounds.

Begum, who was 15 when she joined the IS in Syria, was discovered in the Al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria in 2019. She was pregnant at the time.

Former British home secretary Sajid Javid decided to strip her of her UK citizenship the following day.

Begum traveled to Syria with two other students from her high school and soon married a member of the extremist group, with whom she had three children who have all since died.

Javid, who is no longer serving in the Conservative Party government, welcomed Wednesday’s ruling.

“I welcome today’s court ruling, which has again upheld my decision to remove an individual’s citizenship on national security grounds. This is a complex case but Home Secretaries should have the power to prevent anyone entering our country who is assessed to pose a threat to it.”

Begum’s case has prompted public debate in the UK over whether the government was right to remove her citizenship and deny her access to her country of birth or whether she should face justice in the UK.

The Kurdish forces in control of the camp in northern Syria have repeatedly called on foreign governments to repatriate IS-affiliated nationals. EFE


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