UK Supreme Court slams the door against ISIS bride Shamima Begum
UK Supreme Court has rejected a legal bid by ISIS bride, Shamima Begum, to return to UK and fight for the restoration of her citizenship.
The court gave its much awaited ruling today.
Begum, now 21, was stripped of UK citizenship in 2019 for joining ISIS in Syria.
She left her home in east London at the age of 15 to travel to Syria with two school friends, and married an ISIS fighter.
In 2019 she told The Times newspaper that she did not regret travelling to Syria and had not been “fazed” by seeing a severed head dumped in a bin.
Begum is being held in a camp in poor conditions, while her husband is reportedly in jail in Syria, and her three children have died.
She argued that stripping her of citizenship was unlawful as it has made her stateless and exposed her to the risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment.
Begum is of Bangladeshi heritage but the country’s foreign minister has said he will not consider granting her citizenship.
The Court of Appeal ruled in July last year that Begum needed to come back to mount a fair and effective appeal.
But the interior ministry in turn appealed against this decision, insisting she remained “aligned” with the proscribed terrorist organization.
A government lawyer told the Supreme Court in November her return would create “an increased risk of terrorism”.
Her legal team argued that this did not override the need for a fair hearing.
Rights groups have argued human rights principles are at stake and Begum should answer for any crimes in her home country.
The tabloid newspaper The Sun has called her a “vile fanatic” who has “no place on our soil”.
Begum claims she married a Dutch convert soon after arriving in ISIS-held territory. She was discovered, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.
Her newborn baby died soon after she gave birth. Her two other children also died in infancy under ISIS rule.