British-Bangladeshi IS bride to lose UK citizenship

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London, Feb 20 (IANS) Shamima Begum, a British teenager of Bangladeshi descent who ran awayin 2015 to become an Islamic State (IS) jihadi bride, will be stripped of her UK citizenship, her family lawyer said.

The 19-year-old, who gave birth on Sunday, made headlines last week after she was found in a refugee camp after reportedly leaving Baghuz, the IS’s last stronghold. The teenager told The Times daily that she wanted to return home.

On Tuesday night, lawyer Mohammed Akunjee said in a statement that her family were “very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship”.

He added that they were “considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision”.

UK’s ITV News reported earlier on Tuesday that Begum’s mother had received a letter from the Home Office which said an order to remove her citizenship had been made.

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The letter asked Begum’s family to make her aware of the decision and of her right to appeal.

In response to the development, the Home Office said that it would not comment on individual cases.

But a spokesperson said that the Home Secretary can deprive someone of their British citizenship “where it would not render the individual stateless”.

It is unclear whether Begum has citizenship of more than one country, CNN said.

Begum was 15 when she left flew out of London’s Gatwick Airport with two classmates and travelled to Syria.

The young women, all from the Bethnal Green Academy in east London, were to join another classmate who had travelled to Syria months earlier.

In her interview with The Times, the teenager said that she had two other children during her time in Syria who died in infancy from malnutrition and illness.

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Hours after giving birth on Sunday, Begum spoke to Sky News from the camp, saying she was aware of IS beheadings and other brutality before she left to join the group, and was “OK” with it.

Last year, two British men, accused of being members of an IS cell dubbed “The Beatles” were stripped of their citizenship after being captured in Syria.

–IANS

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