Undated photo of Shamima Begum, who has lost her appeal for her UK citizenship being revoked after being found in a Syrian refugee camp. Credit: AP Photo/Metropolitan Police

Shamima Begum has lost her appeal against the Home Office over being stripped of her UK citizenship.

Shamima Begum, 24, had previously lost a challenge against being revoked of her UK citizenship at the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (SIAC) last year.

A bid to overturn this decision was dismissed by three judges. The Lady Chief Justice Barroness Carr said that it could be argued that Begum was “the author of her own misfortune”.

At the appeal hearing in October, Samantha Knights KC said in court that the Government had failed to consider that Begum could have been a potential victim of trafficking or “state failures”.

According to the BBC, Begum was born to Bangladeshi parents in England. At age 15, she and two other schoolgirls from London left for Syria to join the Islamic State (IS). 

Sir James Eadie KC for the Home Office said that Begum’s case was one of “national security”. He also said: “The fact that someone is radicalised, and may have been manipulated, is not inconsistent with the assessment that they pose a national security risk.”

In response to the ruling, a spokesperson for the Home Office said they are “pleased” that the court has “found in favour” of their position in the case.

Her solicitor, Daniel Furner, said “we are not going to stop fighting until she does get justice and until she if safely back home”.

The decision to take away her UK citizenship came after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp in 2019. According to the BBC, the ruling means she will not be able to return to the UK and will remain in Syria.

Whether she will bring the case to the Supreme Court remains a question, as her lawyers said outside of court that they were not sure.

Maya Foa, executive director of legal action non-governmental organisation, Reprieve, said to the BBC that “this won’t be the end of the line” and that she assumes there will be an appeal.

Begum remains held in a camp in North East Syria, where she has been since 2019, according to the New York Times.


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