Shamima Begum’s bid to restore British citizenship rejected

Judge rejects 23-year-old’s legal challenges and upholds Home Office decision to revoke her British citizenship

Shamima Begum failed a last-minute legal bid to regain British citizenship.

On Wednesday, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) outright dismissed the 23-year-old’s legal challenge to the Home Office’s decision to revoke her UK citizenship.

This means Begum, who moved from her home in London at the age of 15 to join the ISIS terrorist group in Syria, will not be able to return to the UK.

The ruling followed five days of hearings in November, in which Begum’s lawyers said she had been defrauded for sexual exploitation in that she had been duped by ISIS propaganda and agreed to become a jihadist bride. claimed to be the victim of a trafficking.

But in Wednesday’s ruling, Judge Jay said there was a “certain suspicion” that Begum had been trafficked to Syria for “sexual exploitation,” but that was not enough for a successful appeal. Stated.

“The Commission found that the Secretary of State’s conclusion that Ms. Begum voluntarily traveled to Syria on the basis of expert advice is both sympathetic and harsh,” said the submission filed on Ms. Begum’s behalf. I am fully aware that objects have considerable power,” he said.

“Furthermore, there is some merit to the argument that those who advise the Secretary of State see this as a black and white issue when many say there are shades of gray.”

He continued: given to that factor in all other contexts.

“Similarly, reasonable people are concerned about the threat she posed to Britain’s national security in February 2019 and how it should be balanced against all the considerations that offset that threat. would be different.

“But under our constitutional solution, these sensitive issues are for the Secretary of State to assess, not for the Commission.”

breach of state duty

The Special Immigration Appeals Board said there was a “certain suspicion” that Begum had been trafficked to Syria for “sexual exploitation” and that there was a “controversial issue” by state agencies in allowing her to travel to the country. It concluded that there was a breach of duty of

However, Judge Jay, in a summary of the committee’s decision, said the existence of this suspicion “had to make her argument successful that deprivation of her British citizenship had failed to respect her human rights”. “Inadequate”, he added, given that she is currently in Syria. There was no such thing as an accident.

The judge said:

“Fundamentally, and from the perspective of those responsible for human trafficking, the motive for bringing her to Syria was sexual exploitation, and as a child she was unable to give valid consent.

“The commission also concluded that there was a controversial breach of duty on the part of various state agencies in allowing Ms. Begum to leave the country and eventually cross the border from Turkey into Syria. rice field.”

He added:

In conclusion, the judge said:

No protection for trafficked children

In an emailed statement to the Epoch Times on Wednesday, the Home Office welcomed the court’s ruling.

A spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the Court has decided to uphold the Government’s position in this case. We firmly defend the decisions made.”

Sajid Javid, who was Home Secretary when Begum was first stripped of his British citizenship, also applauded the ruling. “I welcome today’s court ruling which again upheld my decision to strip an individual of his citizenship for national security reasons,” he said.

“This is a complicated case, but the Home Secretary should have the power to prevent anyone assessed as posing a threat from entering our country.”

Begum’s lawyer said Wednesday that the ruling “leaves no protection for British children trafficked from the UK”.

In a statement released to PA Media, Jean Gareth Peirce and Daniel Furner of Birnberg Peirce Solicitors said: 2019 Interior Secretary and Supreme Court curtailment of the ability of the Special Immigration Appeals Board to consider her legal challenges.

“As a result, if the Home Secretary insists on national security, we cannot protect British children trafficked from the UK.

“MS. Begum remains in an unlawful, arbitrary and indefinite detention without trial in a Syrian camp. All possible avenues to challenge this decision will be urgently pursued. ”

The lawyer added:

Amnesty International He also expressed disappointment with the court’s decision.

Steve Valdes Simmons, UK Refugee and Migrant Rights Director at the human rights organization, said: He left the country at the mercy of gangs and armed groups.

“Like other countries have done, the UK needs to help its citizens stranded in Syria to ensure their safe return to the UK, whether that means criminal investigations or possible prosecutions. It includes helping.”

Epoch Times photo
This is a still from a CCTV footage issued by the Metropolitan Police in London on 23 February 2015, showing 15-year-old Amira Abase (left), Kadiza Sultana (16), center and Shamima Begum (15). years old) photo. On February 17, 2015, at London’s Gatwick Airport, we departed for our flight to Turkey. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Police)

sexual exploitation

When Begum was 15, he moved from Bethnal Green, east of London, through Turkey and into ISIS-held territory in Syria.

There, she married Dutch-born Jago Riedijk, an ISIS fighter, and lived in Raqqa. She remained in Raqqa for four years before being found in a Syrian refugee camp in 2019. Her British citizenship was revoked shortly after her discovery.

Begum was nine months pregnant at the time. All three children she gave birth to after leaving the UK have died. She now resides in Roy camp in northern Syria, run by a militia group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

In November 2020, the UK Supreme Court ruled that she could not return to the UK to appeal the decision to revoke her citizenship.

At last year’s SIAC hearing, Begum’s barristers, Samantha Knights KC and Dan Squires KC, said that Begum “has been recruited, transferred, transported, and used in Syria for the purposes of ‘sexual exploitation’ and ‘marriage’ with adult men.” Contained, received.”

They also alleged that the Interior Ministry illegally did not consider her traveling to Syria and staying there “as a victim of child trafficking.”

However, the Department of Defense’s Sir James Eadie KC said security officials “continue to assess the danger Mr Begum poses to national security”.

Eady later said that then-Home Secretary Sajid Habid had asked Begum’s age, how she traveled to Syria (including her potential for radicalization on the internet), and how she was to be stripped of her British citizenship. said he considered her activities in the country.

PA contributed to this report.