UK resident Shamima Begum has lost the first stage of a legal challenge against the decision to revoke her British Citizenship, British media reported. Last year, she was found nine months pregnant in a Syrian camp after which British home secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship.
Shamima is amongst the three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in East London who quit their school to join ISIS in 2015. She took legal action against the Home office at the High Court and Special Immigration appeals commission last year after her citizenship was revoked.
Begum is of Bangladeshi descent and was born in the UK. Her lawyer argued that the decision was unlawful as it rendered her stateless and exposed her to the risk of torture or death.
However, on Friday the Tribunal which was led by SIAC president Ms Justice Elisabeth Liang ruled that she (Shamima) was a citizen of Bangladesh by decent was therefore not rendered stateless. The Tribunal also added that while her living conditions in the Syrian refugee camp breached article three of the European Convention on Human Rights, they did not breach the Home Office’s policy on the extraterritorial application of human rights.
The tribunal finally concluded that she was in that situation as a result of her own choices and of the actions of others and not because of anything the Secretary had done. Shamina's solicitor, Daniel Furner of Birnberg Peirce, said his client ‘will immediately initiate an appeal’ against the decision ‘as a matter of exceptional urgency.’
He further said that the ruling ‘will be hard to explain to her’, adding that the logic of the decision will appear baffling, accepting as it does the key underlying factual assessments of extreme danger and extreme unfairness and yet declining to provide any legal remedy. He said that the stark reality of her situation was brought before the court last year.
He added, “how could she in any meaningful and fair way challenge the decision to deprive her of her nationality, a young woman in grave danger who had by then lost her three children?” He further said that Shamima’s decision to pursue an appeal against the Home Secretary’s deprivation of her citizenship has been rendered meaningless.
(With Agency Inputs)