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Shamima Begum Loses Bid to Regain UK Citizenship

Shamima Begum Loses Bid to Regain UK Citizenship

Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a teenager to join the Islamic State group in Syria, has lost her appeal to regain British citizenship. The Court of Appeal upheld the government’s decision to revoke her citizenship on national security grounds in 2019.

Begum, now 24, must remain in Syria following the unanimous ruling by three appeal judges. Her legal team intends to continue fighting her case, possibly by appealing to the Supreme Court.

The court’s decision represents a victory for the government, which cited national security concerns in stripping Begum of her citizenship. Outside the court, Begum’s solicitors expressed their intention to seek Supreme Court involvement, a process that could take up to a year.

Begum’s journey began when she left London at 15 to join ISIS in Syria. She lived under ISIS rule for over three years, during which she married a Dutch ISIS member and had three children, all of whom have died. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp in 2019 and remains there today.

While Begum has expressed remorse for joining ISIS, her appeal to return to the UK has been met with legal and diplomatic challenges. Bangladesh, her parents’ country of origin, has stated she is not a citizen. Despite her legal battle, Begum remains stateless in the al-Roj detention camp in Syria.

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