Shamima Begum to find out if she will be allowed back in the UK

22 February 2023, 07:59

Shamima Begum is due to find out whether she has won an appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship
Shamima Begum is due to find out whether she has won an appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Shamima Begum will later find out if she's won an appeal over the decision to strip her of British citizenship.

She was 15 when she left east London for Islamic State-controlled Syria, and had her rights to the UK revoked in 2019. Her lawyers argue she's a victim of trafficking.

A Government minister said she “clearly represents a threat.”

The 23-year-old, who left Britain as a teenager to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) in February 2015, is due to find out on Wednesday whether she has won an appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship.

Veterans' affairs minister Johnny Mercer, asked about whether Ms Begum should be allowed to return to the UK, said: "That's a decision for the Home Secretary and previous home secretaries.

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"Certainly, Sajid Javid when he was home secretary made the decision to revoke her citizenship. That's a decision for them.

"Of course she clearly represents a threat. But there is a lot of information in that case that is not in the public domain.

"I don't think it is worth discussing it in public. I think those decisions are made in the courts and in the Home Office, and I'm sure they'll come to the right conclusion."

Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by then-home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

She has been locked in a legal battle with the Government ever since. Mr Justice Jay is now due to give the decision on Wednesday morning.

At a previous hearing in February 2020, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the decision to remove her British citizenship was lawful as Ms Begum was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent” at the time of the decision.

However, her barristers said in November that the decision made Ms Begum “de facto stateless”, with no practical right to citizenship in Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi authorities stating they would not allow her into the country.

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