Published: Fri, February 26, 2021
Science | By

The Shamima Begum ruling is a victory for common sense

The Shamima Begum ruling is a victory for common sense

Shamima Begum, the teenager who left Britain to join the Islamic State and was subsequently stripped of her United Kingdom citizenship after she spoke out about having no regrets about joining the caliphate can not return to get her citizenship back, the Supreme Court has ruled. "The Supreme Court unanimously allows all of the Home Secretary's appeals and dismisses Ms Begum's cross-appeal".

In the Supreme Court's written ruling, Lord Reed said: "It is, of course, true that a deprivation decision may have serious consequences for the person in question: although she can not be rendered stateless, the loss of her British citizenship may nevertheless have a profound effect upon her life, especially where her alternative nationality is one with which she has little real connection". They argued she was unable to mount an effective case from Syria, in part because she can't speak with her lawyers confidentially from her camp.

The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Robert Reed, said that the UK Court of Appeal made four errors past year when it ruled that Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to carry out her appeal.

Javid argued that Begum was Bangladeshi by descent and could go there.

"The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations such as the safety of the public", said Robert Reed, president of the Supreme Court.

Begum was reported to have planned a return to Britain before her citizenship was revoked in 2019.

The year before, a court backed President Donald Trump's claim that one US -born woman was not a citizen, even though she held a USA passport, because of her father's diplomatic status in the United States at her time of birth.

Following the ruling, Sir James Eadie QC told the Supreme Court that the 21-year-old returning to the country "would create significant national security risks".

"That is not a flawless solution, as it is not known how long it may be before that is possible".


In 2015, Begum and two classmates from east London's Bethnal Green neighborhood boarded a flight to Istanbul and from there slipped across the border into Syria.

"But there is no ideal solution to a dilemma of the present kind".

But later that year Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed Begum would never be allowed to return to the UK.

Her argument focused on the premise the citizenship of a particular country can only be revoked if the person is entitled to citizenship in another country.

Rights groups have argued human rights principles are at stake and Begum should answer for any crimes in her home country.

The Court of Appeal had been in error because it had decided to make "its own assessment of the requirements of national security" and to prefer that to the judgment of the Home Secretary, he said. She was discovered, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

Her two other children also died in infancy under Daesh rule.

She is married to Dutch terrorist Yago Riedijk and has lost three young children while living in Baghuz.

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