SHAMIMA Begum’s legal fight over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship is “nowhere near over”, her lawyers have said as they announced plans to appeal.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old lost a challenge against the decision to strip her of her citizenship on national security grounds at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).
Giving the tribunal’s decision, Mr Justice Jay found that while there was a “credible suspicion that Ms Begum was recruited, transferred and then harboured for the purpose of sexual exploitation”, this did not prevent the then-home secretary Sajid Javid from removing her citizenship.
It was for those advising the secretary of state and not for the appellate tribunal to consider and assess whether Ms Begum’s travel was voluntary,” he said in a 76-page public judgment.
Ms Begum was 15 when she travelled from Bethnal Green, east London, through Turkey and into territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in 2015, before her citizenship was revoked in February 2019.
Speaking outside Field House in central London after the judgment was handed down, one of Ms Begum’s solicitors, Daniel Furner, said they would be challenging the ruling.
He said: “In terms of the legal fight, that’s nowhere near over, we’re not going into details about exactly what that means at this stage.
“What else this judgment calls out for though is some courage and some leadership from the Home Secretary to look at this case afresh in light of the clear and compelling factual findings this court has made.”
Mr Furner later said that neither Ms Begum nor Home Secretary Suella Braverman were allowed to know the outcome of the case until 10am on Wednesday.
Gareth Peirce, another of Ms Begum’s lawyers, called the decision “an extraordinary judgment delivered in an extraordinary way”.
She added: “The implication, the outcome, that we face is that no British child who has been trafficked outside the UK will be protected by the British state if the home secretary invokes national security.”
In the ruling, Mr Justice Jay said the case had been “of great concern and difficulty”.
He continued: “This Secretary of State … maintains that national security is a weighty factor and that it would take a very strong countervailing case to outweigh it.
In 2019 a whopping 26,000 people signed a petition to block Shamima from returning to the UK.
Begum from Bethnal Green, married a Dutch convert to Islam in Syria and spoke of being “unfazed” when seeing severed heads in a bin for the first time.
Speaking to The Times of London in 2019 Begum who was aged 15 when she fled Britain to back ISIS, along with two others to join the ‘fight’ against the West and our values by marrying an ISIS fighter.
She was then found in a refugee camp in Syria and wanted to return and showed not a single shred of remorse.
Begum even admitted that she is ‘weak’ for wanting to return to the West, and added that “seeing a severed head” in a bin in the ISIS stronghold “did not faze her at all”.
In a sinister statement, Begum said: “I am not the same silly little school girl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago.” and admitted that “I don’t regret coming here”
She described her life as “normal” in former ISIS capital, Raqqa despite “bombing and stuff.”
Begum was also accused of serving in the IS cult served in the Islamic State’s “morality police”.
She is also accused of attempting to ‘recruit other young women to join the jihadist group.’
Wednesday’s decision was welcomed by the Home Secretary Suella Braverman and former home secretary Sajid Javid.
Ms Braverman said: “My priority is, and always will be, the safety and security of the UK.
“I am pleased with the decision from the court today, who have agreed with the Government’s position on every appeal ground.”