17:08 GMT +306 December 2019
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    In this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu Begum, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London

    Daesh Fighters Should Be Put on Trial, Sentenced in Their Countries - Prof.

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    The Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Ministry has denied that Shamima Begum is a Bangladeshi citizen and said she will not be allowed entry to the country after the UK government decided to revoke her citizenship.

    Dhaka also said that the woman never applied for dual citizenship with Bangladesh and has never even visited the country.

    Four years ago, Shamima Begum travelled to Syria to marry a Daesh* fighter, but she now wants to return to Britain after giving birth in a refugee camp last week. She was stripped of her British citizenship on Tuesday by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. 

    READ MORE: Bangladesh Denies Citizenship to Daesh Teen Bride Shamima Begum — Reports

    Radio Sputnik discussed this development with Dr Lars Gule, an academic researcher specialising in terrorism, extremism and Islam at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

    Sputnik: Obviously, this is actually causing a lot of debate in various countries; not least the UK that is talking about this specific case of Ms Begum. How just was the decision of the UK authorities to strip this lady of her British citizenship, do you believe?

    Lars Gule: I think it is a very unwise decision. Now there is a question here of dual citizenship and note that is a legal matter and the British authorities will have to work that out. But regardless of those legal considerations, I think there are two reasons why these so-called "foreign fighters" should be allowed back and especially their children. Number one is the humanitarian reason: they are the responsibility of the countries where they are citizens.

    Number two, and this is perhaps more important for many people, is the security aspect of this. The Kurdish forces, Iraqi authorities and eventually, possibly, Syrian authorities who are now keeping these foreign fighters, women, children, in captivity or refugee camps, do not have the resources to keep them there for an extended period.

    Thus, they will be free and then they will start roaming around in the Middle East and eventually they will return. And children, now maybe 6-7 years old, in some years' time they will knock on the doors of their respective governments and demand to be let in. Then, they might be a security problem, having grown up with hatred of the countries that have rejected them. So for these two reasons, the humanitarian reason and the security reason, we should follow, actually, the appeal of President Trump to take back the foreign fighters. If they have committed crimes, they should be put on trial and sentenced in their respective countries.

    British teenage girl Amira Abase
    © REUTERS / Metropolitan Police/Handout via Reuters
    Sputnik: Well, if we look at this particular situation with Ms Begum, I mean there was a lot of comments on Twitter couple of days ago when the news came through to say that Britain had basically removed Ms Begum's citizenship right in the UK. A lot of UK residents and followers on Twitter were saying how much they applauded this situation.

    And then now we are hearing this news from Bangladesh to say that she is not allowed into Bangladesh and she has never had any right to enter that country anyway. So it is all very much in dispute and there is a big grey area. It sounds to me as though the United Kingdom is going to have to take this lady back, they are going to have to give her citizenship back because, at the moment, she has no citizenship by the sounds of things. So, what happens to people who have got no citizenship?

    Lars Gule: Maybe her family in Britain can get her some legal aid and clear up that problem because, according to International Human Rights Conventions, Britain cannot strip her of her only citizenship. So, if she is only a British citizen, then they cannot take away that citizenship. They are obliged by, if I remember correctly, the European Convention of Human Rights, to maintain her citizenship. She lost it because authorities thought she had dual citizenship and also was Bangladeshi, but this is confusing at the moment, yes. And it indicates a rash act on behalf of the British authorities here. They should think more clearly before they act in these matters.

    Sputnik: It is almost like double standards with regard to President Trump when he was asking for the countries to take these Daesh fighters back and then going on record to refuse entry of one particular Daesh* fighter, I think she was married to one of the Daesh fighters, not allowing her back into the United States. What are your personal thoughts about his statement? Because that is very confusing, isn't it?

    Lars Gule: Absolutely, but then logic and consistency was not Donald Trump's strongest side anyway. So, yes, he is contradicting himself.

    * Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/the Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker and the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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