Shamima Begum was raised and radicalised in the UK and should be subject to British law, a human rights lawyer has said.
The 19-year-old, who fled Bethnal Green in east London to marry an Isis soldier in Syria in 2015, has had her British citizenship revoked by the Home Office.
It’s believed Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered the decision as Begum, who wants to return to London for the sake of her newly born child, may have dual nationality, as both her parents are of Bangladeshi heritage.
The Home Office is planning to revoke Shamima Begum’s British citizenship (Picture: BBC News)While international law forbids nations from making people stateless, Javid may argue that Begum can apply for Bangladeshi citizenship, despite her saying she has never visited the country.
Human rights lawyer Shoaib Khan said that even if the decision to revoke Begum’s citizenship turns out to be legal, it should never have been taken.
He told metro.co.uk: ‘She was radicalised in the UK and this country must take responsibility for that. In the 21st century, there should be no tolerance for medieval punishments like exile.
‘She has never been to Bangladesh, it seems, and should not be their responsibility. The British Government should take responsibility for its people and fulfil the duties that come with that.
‘Also, the only way we can prevent her from causing any harm to the UK is by having her here where we can monitor her.
Human rights lawyer Shoaib Khan (Picture: YouTube)‘If she has committed any offences, she should be subject to British law and dealt with accordingly.
‘None of this will be possible if she is sent to Bangladesh and that will only expose this country to further danger.’
Mr Khan also said Begum’s baby is a British citizen and the Government is legally obliged to consider his best interests and must make arrangements for his welfare.
It’s unlikely his best interests will be met by sending him to Bangladesh, the lawyer said.
He added: ‘Any attempt by the Government to prevent her British baby entering the UK would obviously be almost certainly unlawful, whatever the mother’s actions have been before the birth.
Begum was married off to an Isis soldier within 10 days of arriving in Syria but has not seen him since he was arrested in Turkey (Picture: PA)
Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered the move against Shamima Begum (Picture: PA)‘The way to counter crime is to prosecute and punish criminals, not to exclude them from the country.
‘Clearly, Bangladesh bears no responsibility for her or her behaviour. To now force her to obtain Bangladeshi nationality and move there, even if legally possible, would be wrong and unfair.’
Government guidance from 2017 states the Home Secretary has the power to revoke a person’s citizenship if it would be ‘conducive to the public good’, and they are not left stateless.
Mr Javid on Monday told the House of Commons: ‘The powers available to me include banning non-British people from this country and stripping dangerous dual nationals of their British citizenship. Over 100 people have already been deprived in this way.’
A Home Office spokesman said he could not discuss individual cases, but added: ‘We don’t leave people stateless.’
Begum left the UK alongside Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, four years ago (Picture: PA)
Begum seen going through the security at Gatwick Airport on her way to Turkey (Picture: EPA)Begum’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said her family are ‘very disappointed’ by the decision, which was revealed to them in a letter.
In a statement, Mr Akunjee said: ‘Family are very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship.
‘We are considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision.’
In an interview with Sky News, Begum showed little emotion as she said the British people ‘should have sympathy’ for her, despite admitting that she still agrees with the ideology of Isis.
She said: ‘I’m still in the mentality of Dawlah’ (the name for Isis its members use), and insisted that she was ‘just a housewife’ and never encouraged anyone to go to Syria.’
Begum was married off to Dutch convert Yago Riedijk, 27, within 10 days of arriving in Syria but has not seen him since he was arrested in Turkey.
Speaking from a refugee camp in northern Syria, she said: ‘I cannot live in this camp forever.
‘They do not have any evidence against me that I am dangerous.’
But she refused to apologise for her actions and seemed indifferent to the atrocities committed by the organisation she joined, saying she ‘doesn’t regret’ leaving the UK.