Former Taliban captive: UK must show 'understanding and sympathy' towards IS schoolgirl

Begum Family

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A journalist who was captured by the Taliban has urged people to show more "understanding and sympathy" towards a British schoolgirl who fled the UK to join ISIS.

Heavily pregnant Shamima Begum, 19, a former Bethnal Green Academy pupil, left the country to join Islamic State in 2015 and has now revealed she wants to return to the country to have her baby.



Appearing on the breakfast show, Yvonne Ridley, who was held captive by the Taliban in 2001, said the girl was "clearly traumatised".

"She was 15 when she went out. She's clearly traumatised, brutalised and has been groomed, and perhaps needs more of our understanding and sympathy than she is even aware," Ms Ridley said.

"Adolescents don't always choose wisely and they can make catastrophic decisions. Fortunately for us, most of our teenagers do it under out watchful eyes."


'Why on earth should Britain offload these people onto the rest of the world?'

Yvonne Ridley pictured in 2008. Image: Getty

Ms Ridley, who converted to Islam after her capture, said it was not fair to "offload" Ms Begum on other countries, when she was British.

"Why on earth should Britain offload these people onto the rest of the world?," she asked Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"How would we feel if Assad turned round and said 'I'm stripping all Syrians living in Britain of citizenship and you can sort them out yourself?".