Shamima Begum: Isis bride suggests she is being treated differently 'just because I was on the news four years ago'

'My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK, she says

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 20 February 2019 11:39
Shamima Begum reads Home Office letter revoking her British citizenship

Shamima Begum, who fled the UK to join Isis in Syria aged 15, has suggested she is being treated differently to others in similar situations who wish to return to Britain.

Ms Begum has been stripped of her British citizenship in a move her lawyer said makes her and her baby effectively stateless.

When she was read a letter from the Home Office obtained by ITV News in which home secretary Sajid Javid made the order, Ms Begum told the broadcaster it was ”kind of heart-breaking to read” and “hard to swallow”.

The 19-year-old said: “I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it’s a bit unjust on me and my son.

“It’s kind of heart-breaking to read. My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK when I was speaking to them in Baghouz. It’s kind of hard to swallow.”

Discussing other returnees, she said: ”I heard that other people are being sent back to Britain so I don’t know why my case is any different to other people, or is it just because I was on the news four years ago?”

Ms Begum, who was born in the UK and is of Bangladeshi heritage, was deprived of her British citizenship after she was found heavily pregnant and living in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

She gave birth to a boy over the weekend, having already lost two children.

Since she was found, Ms Begum has made pleas for forgiveness and asked to be accepted back in the UK.

However, in media interviews she has said she had “no regrets” about joining Isis and called the Manchester terror attack “justified”.

Shamima Begum being shown a copy of the Home Office letter which stripped her of her British citizenship by ITV News security editor Rohit Kachroo

Her lawyer told The Independent she had been a British national and “never had a Bangladeshi passport”.

Tasnime Akunjee said although Bangladeshi law affords citizenship to foreign residents with parents from the country, the government in Dhaka “does not know who she is”.

Shamima Begum says Manchester bombing was 'fair'

Ms Begum told ITV News said she might explore a potential citizenship through her Dutch husband.

“Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland,” she said. ”If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison.”

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