Details have emerged of two more British women in Syrian refugee camps with their young children who have been stripped of their citizenship.
As the debate intensifies around the death of Shamima Begum’s three-week-old baby who was born in a refugee camp after his mother fled the UK in 2015 to join ISIS, it is being reported the decision to remove the citizenship of sisters Reema and Zara Iqbal, from east London, was taken by the former home secretary Amber Rudd, who left the office in April 2018.
The sisters identified by The Sunday Times, who have five boys under the age of eight between them, have had their citizenship removed after marrying into a terrorist cell linked to the filmed murders of western hostages by Jihadi John.
Zara, 28, already had a son and was heavily pregnant when she made the journey to Syria. She gave birth and had a third child under the ISIS caliphate. She and her family are believed to be in either al-Hol camp or another facility at Ain Issa.
Reema, 30, has two sons, one of whom was born in the UK. They are understood to be at Roj camp, where Begum was recently transferred.
The Iqbal sisters’ parents are from Pakistan, so the Home Office would argue they are eligible for Pakistani nationality. However their children are likely to be British citizens.
The Conservative party chairman, Brandon Lewis, said any child’s death was ‘absolutely tragic’, but added, ‘The duty of a home secretary is to keep people safe.’
Yesterday (March 9), the Home Secretary Sajid Javid was criticised by Conservative and Labour peers for removing Begum’s citizenship shortly after she gave birth to her son Jarrah in a detention camp in Syria.
Jarrah died on Thursday (March 7) from pneumonia. Begum had already lost two other children to illness in the war torn country.
The shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott said Jarrah’s death was ‘a stain on the conscience of this government’.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed on the Andrew Marr Show that Jarrah was a British citizen even though his mother was not.
Shamima knew when she made the decision to join Daesh, she was going into a country where there was no embassy, there was no consular assistance, and I’m afraid those decisions, awful though it is, they do have consequences.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.