Shamima Begum loses appeal against removal of British citizenship


Shamima Begum, who left Britain as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State (IS), has lost an appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship.

At a five-day hearing in November, Begum, who was 15 when she left her home in east London with two school friends in 2015 to travel to Syria, challenged the decision taken by the then-home secretary, Sajid Javid, in 2019.

On Wednesday, the special immigration appeals commission (Siac) decided the revocation of her citizenship, which occurred after she was discovered in a refugee camp in north-east Syria in 2019, was lawful.

Begum, 23, is at the al-Roj camp in north-east Syria which she described as “worse than prison” because there was no limit to the length of her detention there.

The Siac judges had no power to determine whether she could return to the UK, even if they found in her favour, and there are several British women detained in refugee camps in Syria who retain British citizenship but have not been repatriated.

However, the decision against her makes the prospect of Begum being allowed to return to the UK even more remote.