schoolgirls from east London who traveled to Syria to join the so-called
Islamic State, should be permitted to return to the UK to appeal the revocation
of her British citizenship, senior judges ruled.
February 2015 and lived under IS rule for more than three years until she was
found in a refugee camp in February last year, nine months pregnant.
revoked her British citizenship on national security grounds later than month. In
an interview with Sky News she claimed she was “just a housewife”
during her four years in IS’ self-declared caliphate, where she married a young
Dutch fighter called Yago Riedijk three weeks after arriving.
2017 with her husband but her children, a one-year-old girl and a
three-month-old boy, had both since died. Her third child, called Jarrah, died
shortly after he was born last year.
Appeals Commission (SIAC) – a specialist tribunal which hears challenges to
decisions to remove someone’s British citizenship on national security grounds
– ruled the decision was lawful as Ms Begum was “a citizen of Bangladesh
by descent” at the time of the decision.
Home Office, claiming the government’s decision was unlawful because it
rendered her stateless and exposed her to a real risk of death or inhuman and
“cannot play any meaningful part in her appeal and that, to that extent,
the appeal will not be fair and effective”, but ruled that “it does
not follow that her appeal succeeds”.
Office’s decision to refuse to allow her to enter the UK to effectively pursue
her appeal was also rejected.
“the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be
permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal”.
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.”
national security concerns about her could be addressed and managed if she
returns to the United Kingdom”.
“If the Intelligence Service and the Public Prosecution Director find that
the facts and requirements of public interest are being met for prosecution for
terrorism offences, she may be arrested and charged upon her arrival in the
United Kingdom and put in custody awaiting trial.”