Shamima Begum: Syrian forces deny 'unconfirmed' reports that Isis bride's baby son has died

 

Shamima Begum’s baby has reportedly died (Picture: Metropolitan Police of London via AP, File)

Syrian forces have denied reports that the baby son of Isis bride Shamima Begum has died.

The Begum’s family lawyer Tasnime Akunjee had tweeted on Friday: “We have strong but as yet unconfirmed reports that Shamima Begums son has died. He was a British citizen.”

Ms Begum, 19, gave birth to the boy in a refugee camp in the middle of February, having already lost two children.


Shamima was 15 when she and two other schoolgirls fled the UK to join IS in February 2015.

Despite the claims, however, Syrian Democratic Forces denied the reports later on Friday and said that Ms Begum’s baby is ‘alive and healthy’.

Ms Begum was tracked down by The Times, who found her heavily pregnant at a refugee camp in northern Syria last month.

The teen, who has reportedly already lost two children, said she wanted to return to the UK, sparking outcry from many, and prompting the government to strip her British citizenship.

As the Begum family lawyer emphasised the reports were unconfirmed, others said people in the camp had reported that the baby was still alive.

Shamima previously spoke of her “shock” at the “unjust” decision of the UK government to remove her British citizenship.

The 19-year-old said the Home Office decision was “kind of heartbreaking to read” and “hard to swallow”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped the British citizenship of Ms Begum – who is from Bethnal Green in east London – amid a fierce national debate over whether she should be allowed to return.

The 19-year-old gave birth to the boy in a refugee camp in Syria, having previously lost two children. (PA)
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has admitted that stripped Shamima Begum of her citizenship ‘could be difficult’ (PA)

Her family, who pledged to appeal against the decision, also wrote to Mr Javid pleading with him to allow a safe passage for the boy to come to the UK.

Last month, Mr Javid confirmed the boy was a British citizen and said he had considered the child’s interest when deciding to revoke Ms Begum’s citizenship.

Asked whether there was any plan for Ms Begum’s son, Mr Javid told the Commons Home Affairs Committee it would be “incredibly difficult” for the Government to facilitate the return of a child from Syria.

“If it is possible somehow for a British child to be brought to a place where there is a British consular presence, the closest place – it might be Turkey for example – in those circumstances I guess potentially it is possible to arrange for some sort of help with the consent of the parent,” he added.

“Inside Syria, whether in a camp or maybe somewhere else, there is no British consular presence.”

The Foreign Office has been contacted for confirmation of the baby’s reported death.