British justice has estimated, Thursday, July 16, that a young girl who had joined the Islamic State (IS) organization in Syria, Shamima Begum, should be allowed to return to the United Kingdom to contest the forfeiture of her nationality.
Now 20 years old, she was a teenager who went to Syria in 2015 with two classmates. At the age of 15 she married a supporter of the jihadist group of Dutch origin, eight years her senior.
After fleeing the fighting in the east of the country with her, in February 2019, she found herself in a Syrian refugee camp, where she gave birth to a baby, who died shortly after his birth. Her two previous children, born when she was in Syria, also died.
British authorities forfeited her nationality in February 2019, citing security reasons and believing that she could apply for the Bangladeshi passport. But Bangladesh informed that it had never applied for nationality and refused to accept it.
“A risk to national security”
The young woman therefore obtained a stage victory on Thursday. British justice has found that “The only fair and equitable way that allows it” to challenge his forfeiture of nationality was to allow him to travel to the United Kingdom to do so.
His lawyer, Daniel Futner, welcomed a “Important reminder that fairness and the rule of law remain the cornerstones of the British judicial system”. “Justice cannot be defeated or delayed indefinitely because a file is difficult or national security is engaged”, he added in a statement, noting that his client has so far never had any “Possibility of giving one’s version of the facts fairly”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said the government is “Bitterly disappointed” and intends to appeal against this decision and ensure that the young woman cannot return in the meantime. “The government’s priority is to maintain our national security”, assured the spokesperson, stressing that decisions to revoke nationality are not “Not taken lightly”.
Although he is no longer in government, former interior minister Sajid Javid, who made the decision, said in a statement that the young woman’s return “Would create a risk to national security”.
Shamima Begum had expressed in February 2019 his desire to return to the United Kingdom, while affirming not to regret his departure for Syria. A statement that had deeply shocked British public opinion, marked by a series of attacks in 2017 claimed by the Islamic State organization.