Shamima Begum loses UK citizenship appeal – but lawyers say they ‘will not stop fighting’

UK

Shamima Begum has lost an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship.

The east London schoolgirl, now 24, travelled to Syria in 2015 at the age of 15, before her citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019.

After a series of legal battles, Ms Begum lost a challenge at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in February last year – but took her case to the Court of Appeal in October.

This morning Dame Sue Carr, one of the appeal judges who ruled on the case, said that they agreed with the commission’s decision on Ms Begum’s citizenship and dismissed her appeal.

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Shamima Begum loses appeal

The judge said: “Ms Begum may well have been influenced and manipulated by others but still have made a calculated decision to travel to Syria and align with ISIL [Islamic State].”

She added: “It could be argued the decision in Ms Begum’s case was harsh. It could also be argued that Ms Begum is the author of her own misfortune.

“But it is not for this court to agree or disagree with either point of view.”

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2021: Shamima Begum speaks to Sky News

Ms Begum, who remains in a refugee camp in northern Syria, was represented at her appeal by Samantha Knights KC, who argued the government had failed to consider legal duties owed to a potential victim of trafficking.

But the Home Office, represented by Sir James Eadie KC, said the “key feature” of Ms Begum’s case is national security.

Ms Begum’s legal team is likely to appeal the latest ruling.

One of her lawyers, Gareth Peirce, told Sky News home editor Jason Farrell ahead of the hearing: “As long as she is still there, this doesn’t end.”

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