Shamima Begum’s family take Home Secretary to court over decision to revoke her citizenship

Jamie Johnson
Shamima Begum vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago - Sam Tarling

The family of Shamima Begum have taken the Home Secretary to court, appealing the decision to strip the 19-year-old of her British citizenship.

Shamima Begum vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, and travelled to Syria where she married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship just days after she gave birth to a baby boy, which died only three weeks later. It was the third child she lost in four years.

Now, according to The Guardian, an appeal against the decision to revoke her citizenship has been lodged with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission by Begum’s mother, while another challenge will be lodged with the high court on Thursday.

Tasnime Akunjee, the solicitor representing Begum’s family claims the government decision breaks several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“We are arguing the decision is wrong because it renders Shamima Begum stateless, it puts her life at risk, exposes her to inhumane and degrading treatment, and breaches her right to family life,” he told The Guardian.

“The decision was disproportionate.

“The government has accepted that 400 people have picked up a gun and actively fought for Isis and then been allowed back to Britain. So how can it be proportionate for a 19-year-old girl who had a child not be allowed to return, when the others have been allowed to return?”

Last week Mr Akunjee was unable to get Begum’s written permission to launch an appeal for British citizenship after he was blocked from entering the camp she is in by Syrian forces.

The solicitor was stopped just "50 metres" from Begum after travelling thousands of miles to the al-Roj camp in north-eastern Syria.

Instead, the appeal has been launched by Begum’s mother.