Shamima Begum: ′IS bride′ cannot return to UK, court rules | News | DW | 26.02.2021

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Shamima Begum: 'IS bride' cannot return to UK, court rules

The former IS member argues her human rights are being breached in preventing her from returning home to fight the decision to strip her of her British citizenship. She is now living in a camp in Syria.

Shamima Begum

Shamima Begum, the 'IS bride', is trying to return to the UK

Former Islamic State member Shamima Begum cannot returnto fight her citizenship case, the UK's Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

Judges dismissed her claim that her human rights were breached when the government stopped Begum from coming home to challenge the decision to strip her of her British nationality.

Begum left the UK for Syria in 2015 at the age of 15. She currently lives in a camp in northern Syria. Neither her family nor her lawyers have commented on the ruling.

What did the court decide?

Lord Reed, the president of the Supreme Court, overturned an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal.

He and all the other judges ruling on the case said it had not given the decision of the Home Secretary "the respect it should have received."

He said that Savid Javid, the Conservative MP who held the post at the time, had democratically been given the responsibility to make national security assessments.

He continued: “The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public."

What has the British government said?

The current British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, welcomed the ruling.

She said: “The Supreme Court has unanimously found in favour of the Government’s position, and reaffirmed the Home Secretary’s authority to make vital national security decisions.

“The Government will always take the strongest possible action to protect our national security and our priority remains maintaining the safety and security of our citizens.”

Who is Shamima Begum?

UK Shamima Begum

CCTV footage showed the three girls leaving for Turkey.

Begum and two other east London schoolgirls left the UK in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

She claims she married a Dutch convert soon after arriving in IS-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. Two of her other children also died under IS rule.

In 2019, the then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Begum of her citizenship on national security grounds.

Begum's high-profile flight with her friends from Britain to Syria via Turkey in 2015 was followed by an international search.

Her disappearance focused efforts to prevent disaffected British Muslims from leaving their homes to join IS.

jf/rt (AFP, Reuters)