Begum, who fled Great Britain six years ago as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State in Syria, loses the milestone

Shamima Begum, who fled the UK as a school girl to join the Islamic State in Syria, failed to restore her British citizenship after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that she lost her case

The UK Supreme Court ruling is a critical – and controversial – test case of UK policy of stripping citizenship from Brits who have joined Isis and are being jailed without trial by Syrian Kurdish groups

Lord Reed, the president of the court, said his judges had unanimously decided to rule in favor of the Home Secretary and against Begum on all matters before him

This means the 21-year-old will not be able to re-enter the UK to face her case in person, and her citizenship will not be restored while she is incarcerated in Syria

“The Supreme Court unanimously approves the Home Secretary’s appeal and rejects Miss Begun’s cross-appeal,” said Reed

But the court has raised the slim hope that Begum could file a final appeal against the decision to revoke her citizenship if she should ever be able to properly instruct lawyers

Begum was 15 when she fled to east London with two other school friends six years ago to join Isis in Syria.Her British citizenship was removed in 2019 shortly after she was found in a prison camp by a journalist

Although Begum was born and raised in the UK, British citizenship was removed by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who claimed she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship, her parents’ country of birth

Javid, who is no longer a minister, welcomed the ruling on Friday. He said: “There are no easy solutions, but any restriction on the rights and freedoms this person faces is a direct result of the extreme measures taken they and others have taken ”

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said besides Begum Britain had allowed Britain to evade responsibility. She said, “Like many of its European counterparts, Britain is more than capable of bringing British prisoners home in Syria many of which left as teenagers after being traded or cared for online

“The Government should bring British families back to the UK so children can get the support they need and adults can be prosecuted if charged”

Begum wanted to return to the UK to personally pursue her legal challenge in a test case on the status of Brits who had joined Isis and had their citizenship revoked

Under UK law, the Home Secretary can remove an individual’s UK citizenship if it would be “beneficial to the common good” However, it is illegal to revoke their citizenship if it would render them stateless

At a two-day hearing in November, it was found that Begum was still classified as a national security risk by MI5 for having “joined” the terrorist group despite traveling as a minor

Lord Pannick QC, who represents Begum, said he could not properly present her side of the case from the Al Roj detention center where she is being held. He told the court that she was in danger of being physically injured if she would speak to her UK lawyers on cell phone

Last July, the Court of Appeals unexpectedly ruled that Begum, who is being held by the Syrian Kurds, could return home to challenge the British government and prompted the Home Office to appeal to the Supreme Court

In a 47-page ruling, the Supreme Court stated that the Court of Appeals had wrongly found that Begum was allowed to enter the UK and face her case personally by replacing the Home Secretary with his own reasoning

“She assessed the national security requirements herself and preferred them to those of the Minister of the Interior, although there was no relevant evidence,” the judgment reads

“His approach has not given the Minister of the Interior the respect it should have received, as the Minister of the Interior has been given the responsibility of carrying out such assessments by Parliament”

The UK Supreme Court also concluded that the Court of Appeals wrongly held that “if an individual’s right to a fair hearing on an appeal conflicts with national security requirements, then his or her right to a fair one must be Hearing have priority “

But there was hope remaining for Begum and concluded that the only fair answer was for Begum to finally appeal the decision to revoke her British citizenship until “Begum is able to to play an effective role in it without jeopardizing public safety ”- although it was unclear when that would happen

“This is not a perfect solution as it is not known how long it may be before this is possible,” the ruling said

As a teenager, Begum was married to an Isis militant when she was embroiled in the Syrian conflict and had three children who have all died since when Isis was defeated, she was captured by the Syrian Kurds in 2019 and has been around since then in their detention in camps, the condition of which has been described as “terrible”

Shamima Begum

World News – UK – Shamima Begum loses legal dispute over British citizenship

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/26/shamima-begum-cannot-return-to-uk-to-fight-for-citizenship-court-rules