Shamima Begum’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee has claimed that because 400 jihadists have returned to the UK from Syria, she should be allowed to return.
Begum's lawyer confirmed that the legal aid had been awarded, and reiterated that Ms. Begum must be brought back to the UK, as the others who came back hadn't had their citizenship revoked.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the lawyer said: “There are 400 people who have returned, arguably in more culpable circumstances than her.”
Shamima Begum, the young woman who ran away from the UK to join Daesh when she was 15, was actually a member of Daesh's so-called "hisba", which acted as a morality police within terrorist-occupied territories, according to a report by The Sunday Telegraph.
An anti-Daesh activist from Deir Ez-Zor reportedly told the newspaper that Begum, who claimed she was only a "housewife" during her time with the terror group, had been seen wielding an automatic weapon and shouting at Syrian women for wearing brightly-coloured shoes.
After Daesh's defeat north of the Euphrates River, Begum ended up in the SDF-controlled al-Hol detention camp in February. She applied for permission to return to the UK, but Home Secretary Sajid Javid denied her entry and reportedly stripped her of citizenship. Begum's lawyers have been seeking to contest the decision, arguing that the woman is now effectively stateless.
Since Begum announced her desire to return to the UK, a huge nationwide debate on whether she should be allowed back or not has erupted.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on Monday that it would make him "very uncomfortable" if Shamima Begum, who had married a member of the Daesh* terrorist organisation, received legal aid from the United Kingdom to reclaim her UK citizenship.
"On a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices," the foreign secretary was quoted as saying.
Begum's lawyer has announced that Shamima Begum's case will now be handed over to a reputable human rights solicitor named Gareth Pierce who will begin the process of challenging UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision to strip Begum's citizenship. According to the Daily Mail, the taxpayer-footed bill could well run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.