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Family Considers Legal Action for 'Shocked' ISIS Teen

Family Considers Legal Action for 'Shocked' ISIS Teen

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 - 08:00
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Shamima Begum, the teenager who traveled from London to Syria to join ISIS in 2015, expressed shock on Wednesday at UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s order that she be deprived of her British citizenship.

Begum, who gave birth to a son at the weekend, was discovered in a refugee camp in Syria by a London Times journalist earlier this month. Now aged 19, she has told reporters she wants to return to Britain.

A letter addressed to Begum's mother said: "Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship.

“In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made."

Javid has said he would "not hesitate" to prevent the return to Britain of anyone who has supported terrorist organizations aboard.

But Begum described the order as "unjust".

"I am a bit shocked," she told ITV News after learning of Javid’s move.

"It's a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it's a bit unjust on me and my son."

A lawyer for her family also expressed disappointment at the move.

"(The) family are very disappointed with the... intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship," Tasnime Akunjee said on Twitter.

"We are considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision."

Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, was born in Britain, has never had a Bangladeshi passport and is not a dual citizen, according to Akunjee.

Begum's fate has stirred controversy since she and two friends fled her east London home to join the terror network when she was aged just 15.

MP Julian Lewis, who heads the Defense Select Committee, called for Parliament to "restore the law of treason" in an attempt to deal with alleged militants returning to the UK.

He argued that the government could resurrect the law of treason to tackle such cases citing an article by Oxford Professor Richard Ekins in the Sunday Telegraph.

He argued that such a statute could be used to specify it is treason to support a group that one knows intends to attack the UK or is fighting UK forces.

The last treason trial was that of William Joyce, "Lord Haw-Haw" who broadcast Nazi propaganda to Britain from Germany during the Second World War and who was executed by hanging in 1946.

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