If we deny Shamima Begum her human rights, we should all fear for our own

Editorial: That Ms Begum was herself allegedly a voluntary activist in a vicious regime that routinely tortured and killed in medieval fashion doesn’t cancel her own human rights

An undated file photo of Shamima Begum, whose baby son was confirmed dead in March last year
An undated file photo of Shamima Begum, whose baby son was confirmed dead in March last year

Civilised societies enshrine human rights in law not because it is easy or politically popular – it rarely is – but because it is the right thing to do.

They subscribe to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the same reason and, in the case of European states, they subscribe to the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights (which has nothing to do with the European Union).

Human rights are not there for the easy cases but for the difficult ones, those where the individuals involved are far from heroic and indeed represent a potential threat to national security. Cases, in other words, such as that of Shamima Begum.

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