Shamima Begum: Family disowns Isis bride's 'sickening' statements but asks Sajid Javid to help bring her son to UK

Renu Begum tells home secretary she hopes 19-year-old can 'be helped back into the sister I knew, and daughter my parents bore'

Jon Sharman
Friday 22 February 2019 00:53 GMT
Jeremy Corbyn says Shamima Begum has ‘right to return’ to UK and face questioning

Shamima Begum’s family have said they were “shocked and appalled at the vile comments” the Isis bride has made since re-emerging into the public eye – but pleaded for Sajid Javid’s help to bring her infant son to Britain.

The teenager’s sister, Renu, wrote to the home secretary on Thursday to say the family planned to challenge his decision to strip Ms Begum of her British citizenship and that her potential return was “a matter for our British courts to decide”.

Family members said they had lost the now-19-year-old to a “murderous and misogynistic cult” that had exploited her and “fundamentally damaged her”, leading to the “sickening” comments she has made in recent interviews, including the suggestion that the Manchester Arena bombing was “justified”.

Renu Begum’s letter said: “As a family man yourself, we hope you will understand that we, as her family cannot simply abandon her.

“We have a duty to her, and a duty to hope that as she was groomed into what she has become, she can equally be helped back into the sister I knew, and daughter my parents bore.”

It added: “We were pleased to learn from your comments in the Commons that you recognise my nephew, Shamima’s son, as a British citizen.

“As a family, we ask now how we can assist you in bringing my nephew home to us.

“In all of this debacle, he is the one true innocent and should not lose the privilege of being raised in the safety of this country.”

It came after Jeremy Corbyn said Ms Begum should be repatriated to the UK, four years after she left aged 15 to join Isis.

The Labour leader criticised Mr Javid’s decision to strip her citizenship as “very extreme”, adding: “She obviously has, in my view, a right to return to Britain.

“On that return she must obviously face a lot of questions about everything she has done and at that point any action may or may not be taken.”

The Begum family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, has also called on Mr Javid to explain what steps could be taken to bring Ms Begum’s son to Britain.

The home secretary has been accused of making Ms Begum stateless after Bangladesh, where her parents were born, said there was “no question of her being allowed to enter” the country.

Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s foreign minister, said its government was “deeply concerned that [Ms Begum] has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship”.

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Ms Begum is one of 150 people stripped of their UK citizenship for the “public good” since 2010.

Additional reporting by PA

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