UK Supreme Court: Woman who left UK to join ISIS cannot return while fighting to restore citizenship

Shamima Begum
Posted at 2:23 PM, Feb 26, 2021

The U.K.’s Supreme Court Friday ruled that a schoolgirl who left the country at age 15 to join ISIS cannot return to England while she fights to restore her citizenship.

Shamima Begum, who was born in the U.K., left the country in 2015 when she and two other schoolgirls fled the country and traveled to Syria in an effort to join the Islamic State group.

When Begum was found at a Syrian refugee camp in 2019, then-U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship on national security grounds. Begum has been held in a northern Syrian detention camp ever since.

Last July, the U.K.’s Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be able to return to England while she fights to restore her citizenship. However, Supreme Court President Lord Robert Reed ruled Friday that the Court of Appeal was “mistaken in ruling that Begum’s right to a fair hearing should prevail over competing rights,” according to CNN.

Reed also said that the Court of Appeal did not give Javid’s ruling the “respect it deserved” and deferred to the former Home Secretary’s view that Begum remained a security threat.

According to NPR, Begum married a Dutch fighter who had also joined the terrorist group upon her arrival in Syria in 2015. He’s currently being held in a Kurdish-run detention center in Syria.

Bergum has given birth to three children since leaving England, all of whom have sice died due to illness and the poor conditions in war-torn Syria.