Former ISIS member Begum loses UK citizenship appeal again

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Shamima Begum, woman traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015, lost her appeal on Friday against the British government’s decision to revoke her UK citizenship.

Her lawyers brought a further bid to overturn that decision at the Court of Appeal, with Britain’s Home Office opposing the challenge.

Begum, now 24, was 15 when she fled Britain to join ISIS in Syria with two of her school friends, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana.

Since the fall of the ISIS caliphate in Syria in 2019, Begum has been held in various camps run by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). Currently, she is held at Roj camp, which holds around 2.600 former ISIS members. A majority are foreign nationals. The AANES has repeatedly called for their repatriation.

Since her arrest in 2019, Begum has repeatedly appealed against the UK government’s decision and asked to be repatriated, however, she was stripped of her citizenship in 2021. Human rights groups say the government’s move was illegal, as it left Begum stateless.

All three judges dismiss her case and argue she made a “calculated” decision to join ISIS even though she may have been “influenced and manipulated by others.”

Chief Justice Sue Carr said it is not the court’s job to decide whether the decision was “harsh” or whether she was the “author of her own misfortune.”

By Emma Jamal