Shamima Begum: Family launches official appeals to return ISIS bride’s British citizenship | UK | News

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British passport in February after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp having fled the collapsing caliphate. Begum pledged allegiance to ISIS after reading jihadi propaganda on the internet and fleeing her east London home in 2015 with two other school friends aged 15. Just days after arriving in Syria she met and married 23-year-old Dutch jihadist Yago Riedijk.

The couple had three children together but all died in infancy and last month Begum pleaded with British authorities to let her come home, offering to “help” other schoolgirls thinking of becoming terrorist brides.

Mr Javid defended his decision to remove Begum’s British nationality, saying she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship through her parents.

However Dhaka has ruled out offering Begum refuge and the 19-year-old’s family say Mr Javid’s decision “puts her life at risk”.

They say her British nationality should be reinstated because hundreds of other jihadi fighters have been allowed back to the UK.

Begum’s family have now lodged a challenge with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) and another complaint will be submitted to the High Court on Thursday, the Guardian reports.

The family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said the decision breaks several article of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Akunjee said: “We are arguing the decision is wrong because it renders Shamima Begum stateless, it puts her life at risk, exposes her to inhumane and degrading treatment, and breaches her right to family life.”

The solicitor, who has represented the family since 2015, added: “The decision was disproportionate.

“To strip her citizenship, the Home Secretary has to balance the risk she poses versus the effect on her.”

Mr Akunjee added the Government has a responsibility not to condemn Begum to a life in the refugee camp where she is facing death threats from ISIS extremists.

He added: “It endangers her life, her child died, and we know she was threatened by Isis supporters in the camp and had to be moved.

“In her camp another family had their tent burnt down killing their children.

“The Government has accepted that 400 people have picked up a gun and actively fought for Isis and then been allowed back to Britain.

“So how can it be proportionate for a 19-year-old girl who had a child not be be allowed to return, when the others have been allowed to return?

“We are trying to stop the Home Secretary continuing his decision that puts her life at risk, her human dignity at risk, when it is unnecessary in the circumstances.”

The High Court complaint seeks to initiate a judicial review into the Mr Javid’s actions, saying he did not take into account certain facts including Bangladesh’s refusal to grant her citizenship which the submission argues is illegal.

The case has been complicated by Mr Akunjee being denied access to Begum by security authorities when he tried to visit her in the al-Roj refugee camp.

Additionally, a second law firm claims to have been instructed by Begum through a third party and has also lodged an appeal at SIAC.

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