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The British judiciary is in favor of revoking the citizenship of Shamina Begum, the young woman who joined Daesh

The British judiciary is in favor of revoking the citizenship of Shamina Begum, the young woman who joined Daesh

A UK appeal court this Friday approved the withdrawal of British citizenship Shamina begum, a British woman of Bengali descent who left the country at the age of 15 to settle in what was then Daesh’s “caliphate” and who continues to live in a camp in northern Syria. The young woman, now 24 years old, must remain imprisoned in this country. The verdict from three appeals judges was unanimous, but he can still appeal to the Supreme Court.

Begum took the case to another court, which also disagreed with her. The judges came to the conclusion that, although it may be something “harsh”, it was the plaintiff herself who brought about the situation in which she now finds herself. Therefore, although she could have been “influenced” or “manipulated,” she made the “calculated decision” to go to Syria and join the Islamic State.

“The court’s sole task was to assess whether the decision to deprive (nationality) was unlawful. “As this is not the case, Begum’s appeal is dismissed,” a judge said as he read out the verdict, ignoring the arguments of the young woman’s lawyers.

The Interior Ministry said it was “satisfied” with the outcome of the process, which confirms the authorities’ position. A spokesman reiterated that the government’s “priority continues to be maintaining security in the UK”, which is why it vowed to “vigorously” defend any decision in this regard.

The appeal court ruling represents an important victory for the government and averts a potential legal crisis. If the decision is overturned, interior ministers would in future have to weigh national security considerations with the question of whether someone is a victim.

Begum’s lawyer, Daniel FurnerHe assures, “He will not stop fighting until justice is served and until he returns home safely.” Gareth Peirceanother member of her legal team, said the UK had a moral duty to reclaim its client, just as other nations had done with citizens found in Syria.

Begum’s lawyers went to the Court of Appeal after losing a hearing last year. They claimed that the Home Office’s decision to strip him of his nationality was unlawful, including because British officials had failed to properly check whether he was a possible victim of human trafficking.

Begum left the UK in February 2015 with two other colleagues from London, first to Turkey and from there to Syria. He lived under Islamic State rule for more than three years. She married a Dutch jihadist currently held in a Kurdish internment camp and lived in Raqqa, the jihadists’ former stronghold.

Begum had three children, but all of them lost their lives. In 2019, she was found in an advanced stage of pregnancy in a refugee camp in Syria and declared her intention to return. The British government decided to revoke her citizenship in 2019, blocking any possible return to the UK. This decision was later upheld by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

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