Shamima Begum to find out today if she is allowed back to UK

Shamima Begum describes how she left London for Syria

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Shamima Begum is set to find out her fate today as the court delivers the result of her appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship. The 23-year-old was 15 when she fled east London with two other schoolgirls to travel to Syria to join ISIS in 2015. Her whereabouts when undetected until 2019 when she was found nine months pregnant in a Syrian detention centre. Shortly after the Home Office revoked her British citizenship.

Since then, Ms Begum has been in an ongoing battle with the Home Office, arguing she was a victim of child trafficking. 

During the latest five-day hearing her lawyers argued she was “recruited, transported, transferred, harboured and received in Syria for the purposes of ‘sexual exploitation’ and ‘marriage’ to an adult male”.

At a previous hearing in February 2020, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the decision to remove her British citizenship was lawful as she was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent” at the time of the decision.

However the country made it clear if she went there, she would face the death penalty.

During the latest hearing, Sir James Eadie KC said Ms Begum was still a “security risk” even if she had been trafficked.

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He said there was “no ‘credible suspicion’ that she was a victim of trafficking or was at real and immediate risk of being trafficked prior to her travel from the UK”.

Sir James said that the then-home secretary Mr Javid took into account Ms Begum’s age, how she travelled to Syria – including likely online radicalisation – and her activity in Syria when making the decision to remove her British citizenship.

He added that the Security Services “continue to assess that Ms Begum poses a risk to national security”.

Speaking in 2021, Ms Begum said she did not hate the UK when she left, but rather her life. 

She went on to describe living under IS rule as “hell, hell on earth” and denied any involvement in their activities. 

Mr Justice Jay is due to hand down the judgement at 10am.

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