Shamima Begum can return to the UK to fight for citizenship, judges the Court of Appeal


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Ms. Begum was 15 years old and lived in Bethnal Green, London, when she left the UK in 2015

Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to challenge the decision to withdraw British nationality, the Court of Appeal found.

Begum, now 20, was one of three schoolgirls who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015.

His nationality was revoked by the Interior Ministry for security reasons after being found in a refugee camp in 2019.

The Court of Appeal declared that she had not been heard fairly because she could not present her arguments from the Syrian camp.

The Interior Ministry said the decision was “very disappointing” and that it “would seek leave to appeal”.

The judgment means that the government must now find a way to allow the 20-year-old to appear in London court, even though he has repeatedly said that it would not help to keep her away from Syria.

Daniel Furner, Ms. Begum’s lawyer, said, “Ms. Begum never had a fair chance to tell her side of the story.

“She is not afraid to face British justice, she is delighted. But the withdrawal of citizenship without the possibility of erasing one’s name is not justice, it is the opposite. “

Responsibilities of the government to shirk

Human rights organization Liberty, which intervened in Ms. Begum’s appeal, welcomed the decision, saying that the right to a fair trial was “a fundamental part of our judicial system and that the equal access to justice should apply to all ”.

Freedom lawyer Katie Lines added: “Banning someone is the act of a government that shies away from its responsibilities and it is essential that cruel and irresponsible government decisions can be properly challenged and overturned” .

Ms. Begum’s legal team challenged the government’s decision to revoke her citizenship on three grounds: he was illegal because he left her stateless; this exposed him to a real risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment; and she was unable to effectively challenge the decision when she was not allowed to return to the United Kingdom.

Under international law, it is only legal to revoke a person’s citizenship if a person is entitled to the citizenship of another country.

In February, a court ruled that the decision to withdraw Ms. Begum’s nationality was legal because she was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent” at the time.

She is said to claim Bangladeshi nationality through her mother.

Begum left Bethnal Green, east London, at the age of 15 for Syria in February 2015, with two classmates.

Within days, she crossed the Turkish border and finally reached ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, where she married a converted Dutch recruit. They had three children, all of whom have since died.


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