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Socialists who fought Isis warn against stripping Begum’s citizenship

BRITISH socialists who fought with Kurdish forces against Isis in Syria have condemned Sajid Javid for stripping Shamima Begum of her citizenship and leaving her stateless.

“As socialist volunteers who participated in the YPG’s military campaigns in Syria that led to the decline of Isis, we are the last people to have any sympathy with members of the group,” they said in an anonymous statement to the Morning Star.

“However Sajid Javid’s attempts to look ‘tough on terrorism’ by stripping Shamima Begum of British citizenship are to be condemned.”

The Home Secretary appears to believe that the teenager is eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship via a family member.

Ms Begum ran away from her east London home four years ago aged 15 after being groomed by the death cult to join them in Syria.

She emerged last week in a refugee camp after having left the last Isis stronghold.

She has denied taking part in combat operations and claims she was a housewife.

The former YPG volunteers said: “Whatever her crimes, Begum was born and raised in Britain, and so the British government has a responsibility to investigate and prosecute her in Britain.

“That is unless the Syrian government or the local authorities in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava) wish to hold her themselves.”

They said if the British government was serious about stopping terrorism, then it should sever ties with states that have supported perpetrators such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“The current Tory government stance on Begum is completely bogus,” they added.

“It has already allowed hundreds of Isis members to return with no clear public information on how they are being deprogrammed, monitored and so forth.”

They also warned: “The stripping of citizenship for terror offences sets a dangerous precedent that could be applied not only to former international volunteers like ourselves, many of whom are still under investigation, but Kurdish and Turkish refugees who also participated in the YPG’s anti-fascist struggle against Isis.”

Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said today that anyone returning to Britain who is suspected of terrorism “should be fully investigated and where appropriate prosecuted.”

However she warned: “If the government is proposing to make Shamima Begum stateless, then it is not just a breach of international human-rights law but is a failure to meet our security obligations to the international community.

“Potential citizenship rights elsewhere are entirely irrelevant.”

Speaking later in Parliament, she reminded Mr Javid that his department has previously “lost two cases where they attempted to strip people of their nationality on this basis of Bangladeshi nationality by descent.”

 

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