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Shamima Begum Wins Right to Return to UK

Shamima Begum Wins Right to Return to UK

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 - 10:15
FILE PHOTO: Renu Begum, sister of teenage British girl Shamima Begum, holds a photo of her sister as she makes an appeal for her to return home at Scotland Yard, in London, Britain February 22, 2015. REUTERS/Laura Lean/Pool/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat

UK judges on Thursday ruled that Shamima Begum, a London schoolgirl who traveled to Syria to join ISIS, should be allowed to return to the country to challenge the removal of her British citizenship.

Begum left to join ISIS when she was 15 and her citizenship was revoked on security grounds.

Court of Appeal judges said that the only way Begum would be able to have a fair and effective appeal of that decision would be if she was to be permitted to come back the UK.

"I have reached the firm conclusion that given that the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal," judge Julian Flaux wrote in a ruling, Reuters reported.

"Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns... I consider that Ms Begum’s claim for judicial review of the decision of SIAC (Special Immigration Appeals Commission)... succeeds."

Meanwhile, Britain's interior ministry denounced the decision.

"This is a very disappointing decision by the Court. We will now apply for permission to appeal this judgment, and to stay its effects pending any onward appeal," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

"The government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe."

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