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Citizenship revoked: IS supporter is not allowed to go to Great Britain

Citizenship revoked
IS supporter is not allowed to go to Great Britain

When she was 15, the British schoolgirl Shamina Begum traveled to the IS stronghold of Raqqa and married a jihadist. After the fall of the Caliphate, she wants to return, but London revokes her citizenship. The Supreme Court has now rejected your appeal. The verdict could be groundbreaking.

The Supreme Court in London has rejected a British ISIS supporter request to return home. The five judges of the Supreme Court decided unanimously that Shamima Begum should not come to Great Britain to take legal action against the withdrawal of her citizenship. They justified the judgment with safety concerns. A return of the 21-year-olds is only possible if it is guaranteed that public safety will not be endangered. The court also rejected an application to directly restore her British citizenship. The judgment is considered to be groundbreaking for many similar cases.

In 2015, Shamima Begum, when she was 15, traveled with two other schoolgirls from London to Syria, what was then the IS stronghold of Al-Rakka, where she married a jihadist. In 2019, she asked from a Syrian refugee camp to be allowed to return to the UK. She was very pregnant at the time. She hoped her baby would have a better chance of survival in the UK, she argued. According to their own statements, two of Begum’s children had already died. The young woman’s third child also died later.

The then Interior Minister Sajid Javid nevertheless decided to revoke her citizenship on security grounds. This will not make her stateless, the government argued, because she is entitled to citizenship of Bangladesh, the country in which her parents were born. Begum himself was born in Great Britain and was a British citizen from birth – she never lived in Bangladesh.

“Return danger to the general public”

According to her lawyers, Begum has no way of exercising her right of appeal from Syria. For example, you don’t have access to a phone. The government argued that their return posed a danger to the general public and that this outweighed their right to challenge their citizenship. The Supreme Court now followed this line of argument.

The British government approved the ruling. The decision to withdraw passports from UK citizens will not be taken lightly, said a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The security of the British comes first.

Human rights groups criticized the court’s decision and spoke of a “dangerous precedent”. They are demanding that Begum be allowed to return to the UK so that she can get a fair trial there. The case divides the British public. Mainly because Begum had asked to be allowed to return to Great Britain, but in interviews showed no remorse for attacks by IS.

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