Shamima Begum, a former Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) bride, will receive another opportunity to regain her British citizenship. The 19-year-old's fate depends on a preliminary hearing by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in central London. Tom Hickman, representing Shamima, claims that the Home Office has left her state-less which is illegal.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has stripped Shamima of her British citizenship to prevent her from returning to the United Kingdom. In an interview, Shamima has spoken about how the decapitated head of a captured rebel did not faze her. She claimed that she saw the man as an "enemy of Islam."
Days after the interview, Javid ensured that Shamima could not return to the UK. Javid saw Shamima as a risk to the public. The opinion is shared by the current home secretary, Priti Patel. Patel told the press that she would not allow people who could harm the country to enter the UK, which included Shamima.
Hickman has argued that the Home Office has illegally stripped Shamima of her citizenship. The citizenship of a UK citizen can only be revoked if they are a citizen of another country. Javid's move was based on the assumption that the teenager was a Bangladeshi citizen as well.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, as reported by Sky News, clarified that Shamima was not a Bangladeshi citizen. Alam also stated that Bangladesh would not allow Shamima to enter the country due to her association with the terror organisation.
This means that the Home Office's decision renders Shamima state-less which is unlawful.
Another argument that Hickman will be focusing on is the fact that Shamima was raped by her ISIS assigned husband. Shamima was only 15 when she was married off to Yago Riedijk, a converted ISIS solder. Even though Shamima and her companions had left the UK to join ISIS, she was a minor when she was married off.
Hickman's appeal details the "wretched and squalid" conditions of the al-Roj camp where Shamima is living. There is a threat to Shamima's life, as she has supposedly stopped supporting ISIS and is trying to return to the UK.
The SIAC court will take into consideration intelligence-related evidence before deciding Shamima's fate.