British ISIS bride stripped of citizenship after begging to come home
- Author: Joey Payne Feb 21, 2019,
Feb 21, 2019, 0:45
If Ms Begum was able to reach a British consulate in a country with a recognised government, it is thought security chiefs could "manage" her return, while investigating her actions.
It would have been illegal under worldwide law to make the 19-year-old stateless, but British authorities have found a loophole: She is of Bangladeshi heritage and is entitled to dual citizenship because her mother holds a Bangladeshi passport, though the 19-year-old says she has never been to the country, the BBC reports.
The family of Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, say they plan to challenge the move to strip her of United Kingdom citizenship.
Despite this, home secretary Sajid Javid has insisted he will do all he possibly can to block her return, informing Begum's family of his decision to remove her citizenship in a letter, revealed by ITV.
He added that they were "considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision".
In a letter to the parents of Shamima Begum seen by ITV News, Britain's Home Office says it has chose to deprive her of her citizenship.
"I feel like it's a bit unjust on me and my son", she told ITV News.
She was found heavily pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp last week and gave birth to a child on Sunday (local time).
Her comments sparked intense debate about the UK's responsibilities to those seeking to return from Syria.
Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, warned Begum will be arrested if she returns to the UK.
She had pleaded to be repatriated back to her family in London and said that she was not a threat. "Our position is that to all practical purposes she has been made stateless", he said.
She added she had been "OK with" beheadings carried out by Islamic State adherents because she had heard it was allowed under Islamic law.
"I just was hoping that maybe for me, for the sake of me and my child, they let me come back".
Global law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship, while government guidance from 2017 states that the Home Secretary has the power to order the deprivation if it would be "conducive to the public good", and as long as they are not left without any citizenship.
Javid's decision to strip Begum of her nationality is based on the belief that she is a dual national.
"Most people stripped of their citizenship under the provision concerned have not been convicted of a crime", Professor Matthew Gibney, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University told The National.
Mr Rafiq said she would not be obliged to participate in the voluntary deradicalisation programmes to be released from jail and reunited with her child if she were to be imprisoned for terror offences.
British officials say about 900 Britons went to areas of Syria and Iraq that were controlled by the group.