Shamima Begum loses appeal against British citizenship removal | The Daily Star
05:47 PM, February 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:50 PM, February 07, 2020

Shamima Begum loses appeal against British citizenship removal

Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS), has lost the first stage of an appeal against the decision to revoke her British citizenship, reports Yahoo News UK.

Shamima was 15 when she, along with two other east London schoolgirls, left for Syria in February 2015.

She lived for more than three years under the terror group’s rule before she was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year.

She was nine months pregnant at the time.

Sajid Javid, the then UK home secretary, removed her British citizenship later that month, which according to Shamima’s lawyers, was unlawful since it made her stateless. It is lawful if a person is entitled to citizenship of another country, Yahoo News UK reports.

Shamima, now 20, launched legal action last year against the Home Office at the High Court and the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a tribunal which hears cases about removal of someone’s citizenship on grounds of national security.

The tribunal, led by SIAC president Justice Elisabeth Laing, ruled today that the decision to revoke Shamima’s British citizenship did not render her stateless.

Judge Doron Blum announced the decision of the tribunal.

The move did not breach the Home Office’s “extraterritorial human rights policy by exposing Ms Begum to a real risk of death or inhuman or degrading treatment,” he said.

He also said that while Shamima “cannot have an effective appeal in her current circumstances”, it “does not follow that her appeal succeeds” on that ground.

Shamima’s solicitor Daniel Furner of Birnberg Peirce said in a statement that his client “will immediately initiate an appeal” against the decision “as a matter of exceptional urgency”.

The ruling “will be hard to explain to her”, he said, adding: “The logic of the decision will appear baffling, accepting as it does the key underlying factual assessments of extreme danger and extreme unfairness and yet declining to provide any legal remedy,” reports Yahoo News UK.

“The stark reality of her situation was brought before the court last year as a matter of exceptional urgency – how could she in any meaningful and fair way challenge the decision to deprive her of her nationality, a young woman in grave danger who had by then lost her three children?” the solicitor also said.

“Now, in February 2020, the dangers Ms Begum faces have increased – her chance of survival (is) even more precariously balanced than before,” he added.

Shamima travelled to Istanbul, Turkey via Gatwick Airport before making her way with two others - Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase - to Raqqa in Syria.

She claims she married Dutch convert Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in the IS territory.

In February last year, Shamima told The Times that she left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband but her children, a one-year-old girl and a three-month-old boy, had both since died.

Her third child also died shortly after he was born.

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