Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the united kingdom to fight the choice to get rid of her British citizenship, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Ms Begum, now 20, was one among three schoolgirls who left London to hitch the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015.Her citizenship was revoked by the house Office on security grounds after she was found during a camp in 2019.
The Court of Appeal said she had been denied a good hearing because she couldn’t make her case from the Syrian camp.The Home Office said the choice was “very disappointing” and it might “apply for permission to appeal”.
The ruling means the govt must now find how to permit the 20-year-old, who is currently in Camp Roj in northern Syria, to seem in court in London despite repeatedly saying it might not assist removing her from Syria.
Lord Justice Flaux – sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh – said: “Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, in order that the leave to enter appeals should be allowed.”
The judge also said that the national security concerns about her “could be addressed and managed if she returns to the United Kingdom”.
Daniel Furner, Ms Begum’s solicitor, said: “Ms Begum has never had a good opportunity to offer her side of the story.
“She isn’t scared of facing British justice, she welcomes it. But the stripping of her citizenship without an opportunity to clear her name isn’t justice, it’s the other .”Her father Ahmed Ali told the BBC he was “delighted” by the ruling, adding that he hoped his daughter would get “justice”.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said that while the govt “doesn’t routinely discuss individual cases”, the choices it made about Ms Begum had not been “taken lightly”.
He said the govt would “always make sure the safety and security of the united kingdom and can not allow anything to jeopardise this”.
Shamima Begum isn’t yet packing her bags to return to the united kingdom – there is no government plane warming up the engines at a military airfield in northern Syria to bring her home.
But the Court of Appeal couldn’t are clearer in its wording – she must be allowed back to form her case within the interests of a good hearing.So if the govt wants to avoid the big embarrassment of sending a jet to select her up, it’s a matter of weeks to convince the Supreme Court to review the case.
That is by no means an automatic process. Ministers will need to show to the Supreme Court that there’s a fundamental point of law that must be argued over because the Court of Appeal possesses it totally wrong.
Whatever happens, the case will drag on because the Court of Appeal also ruled that the continued risk to Ms Begum’s life has not yet been properly considered. Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the choice to strip Ms Begum of her citizenship in February 2019.
Ms Begum’s legal team challenged the advance three grounds – that it had been unlawful because it left her stateless; it exposed her to a true risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment; and she or he couldn’t effectively challenge the choice while she was barred from returning to the united kingdom .
Under law of nations , it’s only legal to revoke someone’s citizenship if a private is entitled to citizenship of another country.
In February, a specialist tribunal – the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) – ruled that the choice to get rid of Ms Begum’s citizenship was lawful because she was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent”.
She is known to possess a claim to Bangladeshi nationality through her mother. SIAC, a semi-secret court which hears national security cases, also said that although there have been concerns about how Ms Begum could participate within the proceedings in London, those difficulties didn’t mean the house secretary’s decision should be overturned.
In his ruling on Thursday, Lord Justice Flaux said: “It is difficult to imagine any case where a court or tribunal has said we cannot hold a good trial, but we are getting to continue anyway.”
Government ‘shirked’ responsibilities
Human rights organisation Liberty, which intervened in Ms Begum’s appeal, welcomed the ruling, saying the proper to a good trial was “a fundamental a part of our justice system and equal access to justice must apply to everyone”.
Liberty lawyer Katie Lines added: “Banishing someone is that the act of a government shirking its responsibilities and it’s critical that cruel and irresponsible government decisions are often properly challenged and overturned.”
Ms Begum left Bethnal Green, in east London, aged 15 for Syria in February 2015, with two school friends.
Within days she had crossed the Turkish border and eventually reached the IS headquarters at Raqqa, where she married a Dutch convert recruit. that they had three children – all of whom have since died.
Source: bbc news