Shamima Begum Loses Appeal Over British Citizenship

By John Mercury February 25, 2024

Shamima Begum, who traveled from her home in London to Syria with two friends in 2015 when she was a teenager to join the Islamic State terrorist group, has lost her latest bid to regain her British citizenship.

Britain’s Court of Appeal on Friday upheld an earlier tribunal’s ruling that a decision by the government in 2019 to strip Ms. Begum of her citizenship was legal.

The decision means that Ms. Begum, now 24, who has been living in a refugee camp in Syria since 2019, cannot return to Britain and remains effectively stateless.

Legal experts, however, said her team could challenge Friday’s decision and seek to bring an appeal to Britain’s Supreme Court.

Ms. Begum’s case has been the subject of intense debate in Britain after she was interviewed by a reporter with The Times of London in February 2019 in a Syrian refugee camp after Islamic State, also known as ISIS, was forced out of much of its territory. She told the journalist, Anthony Lloyd, that she wanted to return home, and a short time later, Sajid Javid, the home secretary at the time, revoked her citizenship, citing national security risks.

She has remained in the refugee camp for years alongside thousands of others associated with Islamic State, including other Europeans whose countries are reluctant to repatriate them.

source

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