Britain should allow a woman who left London as a schoolgirl in 2015 to join Islamic State to return to contest the government’s decision to strip her of citizenship, a court ruled on Thursday.
The Court of Appeal said Shamima Begum, now 20, “should be allowed to come to the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal’’ against the government’s cancellation of her British citizenship.
Begum should be allowed to contest the government’s decision in person at an immigration appeals commission, the court said.
“Good sense prevails,’’ tweeted Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Begum’s family.
Human rights group Liberty UK, which supported Begum’s case, said the ruling was “a victory for justice and fairness.’’
“The right to a fair trial is not something the government can take away on a whim,’’ Katie Lines, a lawyer for Liberty, said in a statement.
“Banishing someone is the act of a government shirking its responsibilities and it’s critical that cruel and irresponsible government decisions can be properly challenged and overturned,’’ Lines added.
The government was widely criticised for not allowing Begum to return to Britain after she married an Islamic State fighter in Syria.
Many politicians argued that it was illegal to leave a British citizen stateless.
Begum left London in 2015 with two teenage friends to join the terrorist group.
At the Al Hol refugee camp in north-eastern Syria in 2019, she told British media she had two children with Dutch husband Yago Riedijk, an Islamic State fighter, but both children had died.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
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