People Outraged As Shamima Begum Loses Bid To Regain UK Citizenship

People are outraged after finding out Shamima Begum has lost her bid to regain UK citizenship.
Credit: Credit: ITV & BBC

People are outraged as Shamima Begum lost her bid to regain UK citizenship.

Begum, who was born in the UK, left London when she was 15 – along with two other girls – to travel to Syria and join the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

The now 23-year-old went on to have three children, all of whom have since died, after marrying an IS fighter – which garnered her the nickname the ‘IS Bride’.

She was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019 and subsequently appealed against the decision.

Now, a judgment has been made and many people are far from happy about it.

Find out more information about Shamima Begum below…

The UK’s Special Immigration Appeals Commission rules that Begum will not be allowed to regain her UK citizenship.

She disputed that she had been a victim of human trafficking, but this was dismissed.

In the full open judgment by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, judge Mr Justice Jay explains that British citizenship is ‘not an absolute entitlement for everyone’.

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He says: “British citizenship is not an absolute entitlement for everyone.

“It can be removed by the secretary of state, but not if to do so would render the subject stateless.

“Many citizens of the United Kingdom are immune from deprivation action for that reason, but not Ms Begum.”

He also adds that national security was not the sole reason for Begum’s rejection, but it was a contributing factor.

He continues: “Expressing the issues in this stark way demonstrates the importance of this appeal to the parties and the public at large, as well as the importance of the work undertaken by this commission.”

Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum has been denied her UK citizenship Credit: ITV

The commission did acknowledge that there was ‘credible suspicion’ that Begum had been trafficked to Syria for ‘s**ual exploitation’, but ultimately ruled this was not enough for her to win her appeal.

The judge explains: “The commission concluded that there was a credible suspicion that Ms Begum had been trafficked to Syria within the meaning of relevant international legal instruments.

“Essentially, and from the perspective of those responsible for the trafficking, the motive for bringing her to Syria was s**ual exploitation to which, as a child, she could not give a valid consent.”

Despite the decision being popular in some quarters, many have taken to social media to express their anger about the UK ‘discarding’ someone who was born on British soil.

Journalist Kevin Maguire, tweets: “This isn’t British justice.

“Shamima Begum is British, born and groomed in London so she should be dealt with here if terror crimes were committed and [she] remains our responsibility.

“Instead she’s discarded and dumped on another country.”

Someone else comments: “She’s British. Our problem. She was groomed to join a death cult when she was just 15. Bring her back. Prosecute her.

“Whatever your thoughts, Shamima Begum has been used to set a very dangerous precedent here.”

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Another user explains: “Really uncomfortable with the idea of Shamima Begum’s citizenship removed because she’s a threat.

“Lots of UK citizens are threats. We have systems to manage that. If they aren’t working, fix them.

“Being a threat, or doing bad things, doesn’t change if you’re British. And she clearly is.”

Since the decision was announced, her lawyers, Daniel Furner and Gareth Pierce, have spoken and announced that the ‘legal fight [is] nowhere near over’.

Pierce criticises the decision, which she says has left ‘no protection for a British child trafficked out of the UK’.

She says (via Sky News): “Regrettably, this is a lost opportunity to put into reverse a profound mistake and a continuing injustice.

“Ms Begum remains in unlawful, arbitrary and indefinite detention without trial in a Syrian camp. Every possible avenue to challenge this decision will be urgently pursued.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.