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Shamima Begum can return to United Kingdom to fight for citizenship, Court of Appeal rules

Shamima Begum can return to United Kingdom to fight for citizenship, Court of Appeal rules

| @indiablooms | 17 Jul 2020, 09:03 am

London/UNI: The British Court of Appeal on Friday ruled that Shamima Begum, one of three schoolgirls who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015 should be allowed to return to the UK to fight the decision to remove her British citizenship.

Begum, who is now 20, had her citizenship revoked by the Home Office on security grounds after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019.

The Court of Appeal said she had been denied a fair hearing because she could not make her case from the Syrian camp, the BBC reported.

The Home Office said the decision was "very disappointing" and it would "apply for permission to appeal".

The ruling means the government must now find a way to allow the 20-year-old, who is currently in Camp Roj in northern Syria, to appear in court in London despite repeatedly saying it would not assist removing her from Syria.

Lord Justice Flaux - sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh - said: "Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, so that the leave to enter appeals should be allowed."

The judge also said that the national security concerns about her "could be addressed and managed if she returns to the United Kingdom".

Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who made the decision to strip Ms Begum of her citizenship in February 2019, tweeted a statement saying he was "deeply concerned about the judgement".

He said that regardless of the outcome of her case, if Ms Begum came to the UK "it will prove impossible to subsequently remove her".

Her father Ahmed Ali told the BBC he was "delighted" by the ruling, adding that he hoped his daughter would get "justice".

The prime minister's official spokesman said that while the government "doesn't routinely comment on individual cases", the decisions it made about Ms Begum had not been "taken lightly" saying that the government would "always ensure the safety and security of the UK and will not allow anything to jeopardise this".

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