The decision to strip Begum of her citizenship is “unjust” and “kind of heart-breaking”, Shamima Begum said in an interview with ITV News. In Begum’s opinion, her case is no different from others that were allowed to return from Syria to the UK.
However, the teenager confirmed several times that she knew about beheadings conducted by Daesh, but said that she was “okay with it”. At the moment, Shamima Begum is even considering requesting Dutch citizenship, as her husband is from Holland.
The decision to revoke Begum’s citizenship is unsurprisingly a very contentious topic. On Wednesday morning, the Begum family’s solicitor, Tasnime Akunjee, claimed that Sajid Javid’s move was difficult to explain since the United Kingdom has allowed hundreds of British citizens, which were suspected to be Daesh fighters, to return home.
Meanwhile, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, of the Labour Party, also condemned Javid’s actions and requested a full investigation into Begum’s case.
Earlier, a Home Office spokesperson said that the home secretary’s priority is “the safety and security of Britain and the people who live here”, adding that Sajid Javid has “the power to deprive someone of their British citizenship where it would not render them stateless”.
The home secretary, in his turn, pointed out that Begum’s case is not unique. According to him, the UK has already stopped more than 100 suspected militants of foreign origin from returning, and dual-nationals had their citizenships stripped.
Shamima Begum is a 19-year-old girl who left London four years ago with friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultanan to marry a Daesh fighter in Syria. Recently, she has expressed her desire to return to Britain with her son, claiming in an interview with Sky News that she was “just a housewife” and that she didn’t take part in any terror activities.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.