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She Will be A Threat To The Country: Court of Appeal rejects bid to restore UK citizenship

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Shamima Begum, the woman who left the UK as a teenager to join the Islamic State group in Syria, has lost her appeal against the decision to revoke her British citizenship.

According to a report by Daily Mail, the Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that the Home Office did not act unlawfully when it stripped Ms Begum of her nationality on national security grounds in 2019.

The judges also dismissed Ms Begum’s claim that she was a victim of trafficking and that her human rights were violated by the deprivation of citizenship.

Ms Begum, now 24, was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green, east London, who travelled to Syria in 2015 to join the militant group. She married a Dutch IS fighter and had three children, all of whom died in infancy.

She was discovered in a refugee camp in northern Syria in 2019, where she expressed her desire to return to the UK and challenge the removal of her citizenship.

However, the Home Office argued that Ms Begum posed a serious threat to national security and that she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship through her parents.

Ms Begum challenged the decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a semi-secret court that deals with national security cases, but her appeal was rejected in February 2020.

She then took her case to the Court of Appeal, where her lawyers argued that she was groomed by IS and that she could not effectively participate in the legal proceedings from the Syrian camp.

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They also claimed that the Home Office failed to consider whether she was a victim of trafficking and that depriving her of citizenship rendered her stateless, in breach of international law.

However, the Court of Appeal rejected all these arguments and upheld the SIAC’s decision.

In a unanimous judgment, Lord Justice Flaux said: “The deprivation decision did not make the appellant stateless. The appellant was a citizen of Bangladesh by descent and remains so.”

He added: “There is no evidence that the appellant has been or will be subjected to any unfair or unlawful treatment by the Bangladeshi authorities.”

He also said that there was “no arguable breach” of Ms Begum’s right to a fair trial or her right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.

He concluded: “The deprivation decision was not unlawful on any ground. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.”

The Home Office welcomed the ruling and said: “The government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe.”

Ms Begum’s legal team said they were “extremely disappointed” by the outcome and that they would seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

They 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.”

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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