Europe

Shamima Begum: Teen mum who joined IS in Syria to lose UK citizenship

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Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, is to lose her UK citizenship.

A teenager who joined the so-called Islamic State group in Syria at 15 and gave birth in a refugee camp has been stripped of her British citizenship. 

Shamima Begum, whose fate has stirred controversy ever since she and two friends fled London to join the terror network in 2015 aged just 15, was reportedly told her British citizenship would be revoked via a letter from the Home Office on Tuesday.

According to a letter sent to her mother, Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered the move against the now 19-year-old Londoner who wants to return to the UK with her newly born child as the so-called caliphate crumbles.

Shamima Begum will be stripped of her UK citizenship.
Shamima Begum will be stripped of her UK citizenship.
LONDON METROPLITAN POLICE

"Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship," the letter read.

"In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today (19 February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made."

Her family's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, described the family as "very disappointed" over the move and said they are "considering all legal avenues."

Ms Begum’s mother, who received the letter, was also reportedly told her daughter had the right to appeal.

The BBC said the family was now considering “all legal avenues” to challenge the decision.

Ms Begum left east London, with two school friends, in February 2015, creating international headlines.

She was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week about  to give birth for the third time after seeing her first two children die -  after reportedly leaving Baghuz, IS's last remaining stronghold.

"I just gave birth so I'm really tired," the 19-year-old said as she made a renewed appeal to be allowed back to Britain with her newborn baby.

Shamima Begum said she only wants to return to the UK with her newborn baby.
Shamima Begum said she only wants to return to the UK with her newborn baby.
AAP

"I'm afraid he might even die in this camp. I feel a lot of people should have sympathy for me, for everything I've been through.

"I didn't know what I was getting into when I left. I just was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they let me come back.

"I fled the caliphate. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain."

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said foreign IS fighters should be put on trial in places where they committed their crimes.

"Foreign fighters should be brought to justice in accordance with due legal process in the most appropriate jurisdiction," Downing Street said.

Shamima Begum begins her journey to join IS at Gatwick Airport in 2015
Shamima Begum begins her journey to join IS at Gatwick Airport in 2015
AAP

"Where possible, this should be in the region where the crimes had been committed."

The spokesman added that London continued "to work closely with our international partners on this".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has signalled she could be arrested and investigated if she returns to Britain.

US allies have been grappling for weeks with what to do with foreign fighters detained in the war-ravaged country by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship, but it is possible Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, held dual citizenship.

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