Shamima Begum admits she would be willing to go to jail in the UK
But a legal expert stressed that the German federal government’s decision did not set a legal precedent for Britain – and said that Begum, who left Britain to become a so-called Jihadi bride at the age of 15, stood in front of someone uphill to win her citizenship back. Begum, who was born to Bangladesh parents in Bethnal Green in east London, currently lives in a refugee camp in Syria, where then-Interior Minister Sajid Javid deprived the 22-year-old of her British citizenship in 2019 and promised she would never be allowed to return.
Legal arguments have raged ever since, with the Court of Appeal last year ruling she could return to Britain to challenge the government’s decision to revoke her British citizenship.
However, that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, leaving her in limbo.
The German government’s decision to fly the women between the ages of 30 and 38 plus 23 children back from the Roj prison camp in northeastern Syria may have given Begum new hope in her quest to overthrow the case.
However, Christopher Cole, a consulting firm at the law firm of Parker Rhodes Hickmotts, stressed that there was no reason to believe that Javid’s successor, Priti Patel, or the British legal system would be affected in any way by events in a foreign country.
He told Express.co.uk: “The case will be referred to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) for a substantive hearing to see if the Secretary of State has determined that she is such a danger to society for security reasons that she should be deprived of his nationality.
Shamima Begum’s bid to win her citizenship is contradicted by Interior Minister Priti Patel
Shamima Begum is interviewed at GMB
“That is what the judges will have to consider. Much of it will, of course, be evidence that will not be revealed because it comes from the security services. ”
He added: “What has already been decided is that she will not be allowed to return to the UK to present evidence.
“So she gets to somehow prove from the refugee camp in Syria.
“It is clear that she will argue, I can imagine that she was not a danger, she has never been. She would probably argue that she was just a young girl who had been brainwashed and groomed.
“And that even though she was somehow aware of what was happening, she has now seen the error in her ways, she is reformed, and she could therefore not be considered a danger to national security.
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Shamima Begum recently gave an interview to GMB
“I assume that’s how she wants to place her arguments.”
Begum is also likely to argue that she will never be allowed in Bangladesh, even though Cole suggested the case was settled in British courts.
He explained: “The top judges in this country have ruled that she is legally entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship, although I think she may try to rebuild this argument.”
Cole assessed her future prospects, saying: “It is difficult because her lawyers have already argued that it will be almost impossible for her to have a fair hearing because she cannot adequately give instructions or participate.
“And when you consider that it will be closed evidence that she will never get to see from the security services about the risk assessment, it is an uphill battle I imagine to overcome.
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Shamima Begum as a 15-year-old in Bethnal Green
Shamima Begum pictured at the airport on her way to Syria
“Although the burden is, of course, on the Foreign Minister to prove that she is this danger to national security, which justifies the approval of her citizenship.
“But Priti Patel has all the cards. They all have evidence. ”
Cole stressed that the case itself was not really that unusual.
He said: “There have been many cases within SIAC where people have addressed this issue of deprivation of citizenship due to national security issues.
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“Legally, the interesting thing was about, went to the Supreme Court. Now whether she can attend, whether we have violated human rights, not to let her come back at least to attend the hearings.
“It’s reasonably run on the mill, to be honest – there are a number of cases of British citizens accused of supporting terrorism in some way where the Foreign Secretary has been deprived of their citizenship.”
He also suggested a controversial interview with the Times, which Begum gave from the refugee camp, in which she acted carelessly or carelessly of atrocities committed by ISIS, counted strongly against her.
Cole said: “It’s a kind of luck at the draw, whether you are the one the government decided to address.
Shamima Begum now, and at the time of her controversial interview
“By calling for the media and doing these interviews, it did her no good.
“Literally hundreds of them have returned from Syria and nothing is happening at all, but once you are in the public eye, the government needs to be seen to do something about it.”
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas explained Germany’s decision and said: “The children are not to blame for their situation. It is true that we do everything we can so that they can live in safety and in a good environment.
“Mothers will have to answer to the criminal justice system for their actions.”
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)