IS schoolgirl Shamima Begum brands decision to revoke her citizenship ‘unjust’

IS schoolgirl Shamima Begum brands decision to revoke her citizenship ‘unjust’

Shamima Begum, who left the UK to join IS aged 15, has called the decision to revoke her citizenship as 'unjust'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Islamic State bride Shamima Begum has claimed the Government's decision to revoke her British citizenship is "unjust".

The 19-year-old, who left the UK to travel to Syria aged 15, said she was "a bit shocked" when she learned of the move by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

She suggested she may now seek citizenship in the Netherlands, where her husband is from.

Meanwhile, Mr Javid suggested the action to prevent Ms Begum returning will have no impact on her baby son's nationality.

 

 

While insisting he could not discuss individual cases, he told the Commons: "Children should not suffer. So, if a parent does lose their British citizenship, it does not affect the rights of their child."

On Wednesday, Ms Begum was shown a copy of a Home Office letter setting out the action against her.

Speaking at a refugee camp in Syria, she said: "I don't know what to say. I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked.

"It's a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it's a bit unjust on me and my son.

"It's kind of heartbreaking to read. My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK when I was speaking to them in Baghuz. It's kind of hard to swallow."

 

'Supports terror' 

Watch: Home Secretary Sajid Javid speaking in the House of Commons. 

She suggested other returnees are "being sent back to Britain", telling ITV News: "I don't know why my case is any different to other people, or is it just because I was on the news four years ago?

"Another option I might try with my family is my husband is from Holland and he has family in Holland.

"Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland. If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison."

 

 

Mr Javid delivered a staunch defence of the Government's ability to use the citizenship powers to prevent the return of "dangerous individuals".

He told MPs that the step was never taken lightly, adding: "But when someone turns their back on the fundamental values and supports terror, they don't have an automatic right to return to the UK.

"We must put the safety and security of our country first and I will not hesitate to act to protect it."

 

'Public good'

While refusing to discuss individual cases, he made clear that each is "carefully considered on its own merits, regardless of gender, age or family status".

On Tuesday, Mr Javid made the decision to revoke her British citizenship.

The British Nationality Act 1981 provides the Home Secretary with the power to take such action if it is "conducive to the public good".

International law forbids nations from making people stateless so the move prompted speculation that Ms Begum, who is reportedly of Bangladeshi heritage, holds dual nationality or would be eligible for citizenship of another country.

However her family's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee told the Press Association she was born in the UK, has never had a Bangladeshi passport and is not a dual citizen.

Figures for 2017 show that 104 people were deprived of their British citizenship - up from 14 in the previous year.