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04th May 2019

Bangladesh says it will pursue the death penalty for Shamima Begum

The teenager would be hanged if she entered Bangladesh, the country's foreign minister said

Oli Dugmore

Shamima Begum is interviewed for the first time in Syria.

The teenager would be hanged if she entered Bangladesh, the country’s foreign minister said

Shamima Begum would face the death penalty in Bangladesh, its government has warned.

The teenager fled the United Kingdom at the age of 15 to join ISIS and marry one of its fighters in 2015. She now wishes to return from Syria and says she was “brainwashed” by jihadis.

However, home secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British citizenship. It is illegal under international law to render a person stateless but it was argued the 19-year-old had dual-nationality with Bangladesh via her family – something the country denies.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister, Abdul Momen, said his country punishes terrorism offences with capital punishment and the ISIS bride would be hanged.

Dr Momen told ITV News: “We have nothing to do with Shamima Begum. She is not a Bangladeshi citizen.

“She never applied for Bangladeshi citizenship. She was born in England and her mother is British.

“If anyone is found to be involved with terrorism, we have a simple rule: there will be capital punishment. And nothing else.

“She would be put in prison and immediately the rule is she should be hanged.”

Begum has had three children since arriving in Syria. All of them were automatically British citizens, all of them are now dead.

Her third, a son, died three weeks old in March.

The UK government said it does not comment on individual cases but does not take the decision to remove citizenship “lightly.”