Shamima Begum begins court battle to win back UK citizenship after joining ISIS

The latest hearing in Shamima Begum’s appeal against the removal of her British citizenship is about to begin. 

Ms Begum was 15 when she and two other girls from Bethnal Green in east London travelled to Syria and joined the so-called Islamic State group in February 2015. 

Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found five years later in a Syrian refugee camp.

Ms Begum has denied any involvement in terror activities, and it has since been claimed that she was a victim of trafficking who was groomed and smuggled in by Canadian double agent Mohammed al-Rashed.

She is now challenging the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship and faces a five-day hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London in the latest stage of her legal bid.

Tasnime Akunjee, the Begum family lawyer, told AFP the hearing would be centred around whether she was “considered a victim of trafficking, notably whether the then home secretary [Sajid Javid] turned his mind to those issues when making the decision to strip her of citizenship.

“The UK has international obligations as to how we view a trafficked person and what culpability we prescribed to them for their actions.”

Last summer, Ms Begum pleaded to be brought back to the UK to face charges and directly appealed to the Prime Minister that she could be “an asset” in the fight against terror.