IS bride Shamima can return to UK
A British Court of Appeal has ruled that Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to fight the decision to remove her British citizenship.
Ms Begum, now 20, was one of three schoolgirls who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015, reports BBC.
Her citizenship was revoked by the Home Office on security grounds after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019.
The Court of Appeal said she had been denied a fair hearing because she could not make her case from the Syrian camp.
The Home Office said the decision was “very disappointing” and it would “apply for permission to appeal”.
The ruling means the government must now find a way to allow the 20-year-old, who is currently in Camp Roj in northern Syria, to appear in court in London despite repeatedly saying it would not assist removing her from Syria.
Lord Justice Flaux – sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh – said: “Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, so that the leave to enter appeals should be allowed.”
The judge also said that the national security concerns about her “could be addressed and managed if she returns to the United Kingdom”.
Daniel Furner, Ms Begum’s solicitor, said: “Ms Begum has never had a fair opportunity to give her side of the story.
“She is not afraid of facing British justice, she welcomes it. But the stripping of her citizenship without a chance to clear her name is not justice, it is the opposite.”
Her father Ahmed Ali told the BBC he was “delighted” by the ruling, adding that he hoped his daughter would get “justice”.
Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the decision to strip Ms Begum of her citizenship in February 2019.
Ms Begum’s legal team challenged the move on three grounds – that it was unlawful because it left her stateless; it exposed her to a real risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment; and she could not effectively challenge the decision while she was barred from returning to the UK.
Under international law, it is only legal to revoke someone’s citizenship if an individual is entitled to citizenship of another country.