Shamima Begum, the ISIS bride who was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019, has lost her latest challenge against the decision.
The 23-year-old, who fled to Syria at the age of 15 to join the brutal terrorist group, has been fighting to have her citizenship reinstated and to return to the UK.
However, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has ruled that the decision to revoke her citizenship was lawful, even though her lawyers argued that she was a victim of child trafficking and had been groomed and tricked into joining the group.
The Commission acknowledged that there was a “credible suspicion” that Begum had been trafficked to Syria and that there were “arguable breaches of duty” on the part of various state bodies in allowing her to leave the country and eventually cross the border from Turkey into Syria.
Despite these concerns, the judge ruled that even if Begum had been trafficked, it did not override the Home Secretary’s duty to make a national security decision.
The court concluded that reasonable people with knowledge of all the relevant evidence would differ on the extent to which her travel to Syria was voluntary and the threat she posed to national security.
Begum’s case has been highly controversial, with some arguing that she should be allowed to return to the UK and be held accountable for her actions. In contrast, others believe she forfeited her right to citizenship when she left the country to join a terrorist group.
Begum’s story began in 2015 when, at the age of 15, she travelled to Syria with two school friends to join ISIS. She married an ISIS terrorist and had three children, all of whom died.
In 2019, the Home Secretary at the time, Sajid Javid, stripped her of her citizenship, arguing that she was a threat to national security.
Since then, Begum has been living in a refugee camp in northern Syria, and her case has been the subject of legal battles and public debate.
Many people will likely be pleased with the case’s outcome, given Begum’s links to ISIS and her previous statements expressing support for the group.
Some have argued that allowing her to return to the UK would pose a security risk to the country, and that she should face justice in Syria or Iraq instead.
The UK government has reiterated its commitment to maintaining the safety and security of the country.
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