ISIS bride Shamima Begum has had her British citizenship revoked by the British government.
Begum’s ‘disappointed’ family have reportedly been informed through a letter from the Home Office, and will reportedly be challenging the decision.
Shamima Begum's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said: "Family are very disappointed with the Home Office's intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship.
"We are considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision."
— Ross Kempsell (@rosskempsell) February 19, 2019
According to ITV News, who’ve obtained the letter, it reads as follows:
Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship.
In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made.
The Begum family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, has tweeted the following statement:
Family are very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship.
We are considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.
Tasnime Akunjee – the lawyer representing the Begum family – says the UK has a 'moral duty' to bring Shamima's child back to safety. pic.twitter.com/8MclROJreY
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) February 18, 2019
In 2015, Begum left her home in Bethnal Green to join Islamic State in Syria, alongside two school friends. She was 15 years old at the time.
Now 19, Begum is currently residing at al-Hawl refugee camp in north-eastern Syria, and had been hoping to return to the UK. She recently gave birth to a baby boy, having previously lost two children.
Speaking with Sky News following her child’s birth, Begum said:
I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I have been through. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left.
I was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they’d let me come back. Because I can’t live in this camp forever.
The grounds on which Shamima Begum would presumably be deprived of her citizenship, from the Home Office website pic.twitter.com/60O3OVp0IG
— Julian Druker (@Julian5News) February 19, 2019
The British public have been left divided over Begum’s story. Some have been sympathetic to her on account of her young age at the time she left for Syria, arguing she’s a victim of grooming.
However, others have been left appalled by her apparent lack of remorse, having described herself as being ‘okay’ with the knowledge that Islamic State had carried out beheadings.
When asked by Sky News if she felt she had made a mistake by joining Islamic State, Begum said:
In a way, yes, but I don’t regret it because it’s changed me as a person. It’s made me stronger, tougher. I married my husband. I wouldn’t have found someone like him back in the UK.
I had my kids. I did have a good time there, it’s just that at the end things got harder and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to leave.
‘He has no proof that I’m a threat, other than I was in Isis’
— grogan6 (@grogan6) February 18, 2019
Begum is currently not in contact with her husband, who is a Dutch ISIS fighter.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.