Shamima Begum can return to UK to fight citizenship decision, court rules 1 year ago

Shamima Begum can return to UK to fight citizenship decision, court rules

She left the UK for Syria in 2015

Shamima Begum, the 20-year-old who left Bethnal Green in east London to join Islamic State as a child, should be permitted to return to the United Kingdom to contest the decision to strip her of her citizenship, a court has ruled.


Begum was stripped of her citizenship on security grounds in 2019 by then home secretary Sajid Javid, who stated that she was eligible to Bangladeshi citizenship due to the fact that her parents had been born there.

Under international law, someone can only be stripped of citizenship if they are also entitled to citizenship in another country.

Last year, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that Javid's decision was legal, and that she had not been made stateless. Thursday's decision by the court of appeals partially overturns this.

Javid's decision quickly prompted a legal challenge, in which her legal team claimed that she was unable to properly defend herself due to her being in a Syrian camp.

Begum had left England in 2015 as a 15-year-old to join the Islamist militant group at the height of its power in 2015. She was later discovered pregnant in a refugee camp in Syria.

Her child died shortly after Javid's decision to strip her citizenship.


In reaction to the decision, the Home Office described it as "disappointing" and said: "The government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe."