Image of Shamima Begum, taken on February 17, 2015 by a video surveillance camera at Gatwick Airport, south London. - Metropolitan police / AFP
She had joined the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria. A young girl got the green light on Thursday from the British justice system to be able to return to the United Kingdom to contest the forfeiture of her nationality.
Today, 20 years old, Shamima Begum was a teenager who left for Syria in 2015 with two classmates. At the age of 15, she married an ISIS supporter of Dutch origin, eight years her senior.
Death of three children
After fleeing the fighting in the east of the country with him, in February 2019, she found herself in a Syrian refugee camp where she gave birth to a baby, who died a few weeks after his birth. Her two previous children, born when she was in Syria, also died.
The British authorities had deprived her of her British nationality in February 2019, citing security reasons and considering that she was entitled to apply for the Bangladeshi passport. However, Bangladesh had indicated that it had never applied for nationality and refused to accept it.
In the legal battle which it engaged, it has just obtained a first victory. The British courts have considered that "the only way which allows him" to contest in a "fair and equitable" manner his deprivation of nationality was to allow him to go to the United Kingdom to do so.
An appeal from the Ministry of the Interior
"Justice cannot be defeated, or delayed indefinitely because a file is difficult or national security is engaged," said his lawyer, Daniel Futner, in a statement, stressing that his client has until 'here never had an' opportunity to give a fair version of the facts'.
Describing the decision as disappointing, the Minister of the Interior announced that he would file a request for appeal.
Shamima Begum had expressed in February 2019 his desire to return to the United Kingdom, while affirming not to regret his departure for Syria. This statement shocked British public opinion, marked in 2017 by a series of attacks claimed by IS.
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- Forfeiture of nationality