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British Supreme Court to rule on return of ‘ISIS bride’ Shamima Begum

Sushree Mohanty

Britain’s Supreme Court  is set to hear the case of Shamima Begum, a woman whose British citizenship stands cancelled for joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria and will decide on whether she returns to the State to challenge the said decision. 

The Top Court is listed to pronounce its verdict at 0945 GMT (5.45 PM Singapore time) for the matter, which has come to be viewed as a trial of how nations treat its individuals who joined the extremist or radical groups. 

Presently 21 years of age, Begum left her home in east London at 15 years old and travelled to Syria with two of her school friends, where she married an ISIS fighter.

In 2019, she revealed to The Times paper that she did not regret her decision to travel  to Syria and had not been “fazed” by seeing a cut off head disposed of in the waste dustbin.

England repudiated her citizenship in 2019 on national safety grounds in the midst of an objection raised by local and rightist new outlets. . 

Begum is currently kept in a camp in helpless conditions, while her husband is allegedly in prison in Syria, and her three young children have passed away.

She is contending to be permitted into Britain once again so she can legitimately challenge the State’s decision to revoke her citizenship. 

She contends that the steps taken by Britain and the decision passed were unlawful as it has made her stateless and presented her to the danger of death or barbaric and ill-treatment. 

Originally, Begum is a Bangladeshi. However, the country’s foreign minister has said he will not consider allowing her citizenship. 

The Court of Appeal passed an order in July 2020 that required Begum to return in order to mount a reasonable appeal petition.

However, the Interior Ministry objected to the judgement and filed an appeal demanding she stayed “aligned” with the restricted terrorist association. 

A legal advisor for the government informed the Supreme Court in November that her return would make “an increased risk of terrorism”.

Her legal group contended that this did not abrogate the requirement for a reasonable hearing. Several Human Rights organisations have contended that the human rights and standards are in question and Begum should be allowed an opportunity to respond to any violations or crimes in her nation of origin.

The famous newspaper outlet, The Sun has called her a “vile fanatic” and stated that she has “no place on our soil”.

Begum claims she married a Dutchman soon after travelling to Syria in the ISIS-dominated territory. She was then found in the state of nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019. 

Her child passed away not long after she conceived and gave birth. Her two other children likewise died in the early stages of childhood under ISIS rule.

Read more: Bombay HC upholds Special Court’s order of bail to alleged ISIS member Areeb Majeed