Shamima Begum case sets dangerous precedent for 'two tiered citizenship'

27 February 2021, 15:26 | Updated: 27 February 2021, 15:28

By Seán Hickey

A dangerous precedent is being set by Supreme Court in not allowing Shamima Begum back to the UK for her appeal, Maajid Nawaz fears.

Speaking from his experience as a prisoner of conscience during the war on terror, Maajid Nawaz insisted that "rehabilitation is possible" for former IS bride Shamima Begum, but the Supreme Court's decision to not allow her into the UK for her appeal of her revoked citizenship lessens the possibility for rehabilitation.

"The decision in origin to strip Shamima Begum of her citizenship raises a very very serious point and that is that it opens up the potential in this country to two tiered citizenship," Maajid insisted.

He explained that "those who, by accident of birth, because their parents happen to come from somewhere else could have their citizenship stripped even if they don't hold any other citizenship," if Shamima Begum's case stands and becomes precedent.

"IRA terrorists were never stripped of their citizenship, even when they tried to kill our prime minister, Margaret Thatcher."

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Maajid argued that off the back of this there could be a split between defining citizenship and one's right to live in a state.

He went on to remind listeners that during the war on terror "a lot of laws that were initially used to combat terrorism" were kept on and reappropriated.

Maajid used David Miranda's detainment on Section 7 charges during the Edward Snowden affair as evidence of the reappropriation of such laws.

He encouraged listeners to ask "what sort of crimes justify taking away someone's citizenship," if the decision against Ms Begum sticks.