Islamic State bride Shamima Begum loses legal bid to return to UK to fight for citizenship

WION Web Team
LONDON Published: Feb 26, 2021, 04:03 PM(IST)

File photo: A combination of handout CCTV pictures received from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on February 23, 2015 shows (L-R) British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, south of London, on February 17, 2015. Photograph:( AFP )

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Shamima Begum left London when she was 15 and went to Syria via Turkey with two schoolfriends where she married an IS fighter.

A woman who as a teenager ran away to join the Islamic State group has lost her bid to return to the UK to fight for the restoration of her citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds. 

Shamima Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria in 2015.

Shamima Begum left London when she was 15 and went to Syria via Turkey with two schoolfriends where she married an IS fighter.

Also read: Father of British IS bride may seek Bangladesh citizenship for her

Begum, 21, who is being held in a detention camp in Syria, was stripped her of her British citizenship in 2019 but the Court of Appeal previously agreed she could only have a fair appeal of that decision if she were allowed back to Britain.

But the country’s top court overturned that decision, meaning that although she can still pursue her appeal against the decision to take away her citizenship, she cannot do that in Britain.

The British government had argued that the intelligence agencies concluded those who aligned with Islamic State posed a serious current risk to national security.

"If a vital public interest - in this case, the safety of the public - makes it impossible for a case to be fairly heard, then the courts cannot ordinarily hear it," the Supreme Court judges concluded.

Begum's case has been the subject of a heated debate in Britain, pitting those who say she forsook her right to citizenship by travelling to join IS against those who argue she should not be left stateless but rather face trial in Britain.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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