Shamima Begum: 21-year-old Shamima Begum will find out if she can return to the United Kingdom to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship.
The Supreme Court will be giving a ruling on her case next week. In February 2015, when Begum was 15, she and two other schoolgirls travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) group. She was found nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019, shortly after that her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds. Begum is now challenging the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship and wants to be allowed to return to the UK in order to pursue her appeal.
In July 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal”. The Home Office challenged that decision at the Supreme Court in November and argued that allowing her to return to the UK would “create significant national security risk” and expose the public to an “increased risk of terrorism”.
The United Kingdom’s highest court will give a judgement on February 26, 2021, on whether Begum should be granted leave to enter the UK in order to pursue her appeal. The Supreme Court will also rule on whether, if Begum is not allowed to enter the UK, her appeal against the removal of her citizenship should be allowed.