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Shamima Begum to appeal against ruling that revoked her British citizenship

SHAMIMA BEGUM “will immediately initiate an appeal” against a ruling that revoking her British citizenship did not render her stateless, her lawyer confirmed today.

Ms Begum, now 20, was one of three east-London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria to join Isis in February 2015.

She was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year, prompting then home secretary Sajid Javid to strip her of her British citizenship.

Ms Begum took legal action against the Home Office at both the High Court and the special immigration appeals commission (SIAC), a specialist tribunal which hears challenges to decisions to remove citizenship on national-security grounds.

Her lawyers argued that the decision was unlawful as it rendered her stateless, and said that the move breached the Home Office’s “extraterritorial human-rights policy by exposing Ms Begum to a real risk of death or inhuman or degrading treatment.”

However the tribunal — led by SIAC president Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing — ruled today that at the time Ms Begum’s British citizenship was revoked she was “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent” and was therefore not rendered stateless.

The tribunal found that the decision did not breach the Home Office’s policy on the extraterritorial application of human rights.

Ms Begum’s solicitor, Daniel Furner of Birnberg Peirce, said that his client “will immediately initiate an appeal” against the decision “as a matter of exceptional urgency.”

He said that the ruling “will be hard to explain to her,” adding: “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.”

 

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