Shamima Begum loses appeal for British citizenship

Shamima Begum. Credit: Getty Images

Shamima Begum has lost her legal challenge over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship despite "credible suspicion" for human trafficking.

Ms Begum was 15 when she travelled from Bethnal Green in east London through Turkey and into territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS).

Announcing the tribunal's decision, Judge Robert Jay said there was a "credible suspicion" that Begum was trafficked to Syria, which he said was for the purposes of "sexual exploitation".

"There were arguable breaches of duty on the part of various state bodies in permitting Ms Begum to leave the country as she did.

However, the "credible suspicion" that Begum was trafficked is "insufficient" for her appeal to succeed, Jay added.

Wednesday's ruling is itself likely to be appealed, though this was not immediately confirmed.

The Home Office have said they are “pleased” the court has ruled against Shamima Begum.

Her British citizenship was revoked by the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

Ms Begum, now 23, brought a challenge against the Home Office over this decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a specialist tribunal which hears challenges to decisions to remove someone’s British citizenship on national security grounds.

Following a five-day hearing in November, the tribunal dismissed her challenge on Wednesday.

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