23:54 GMT28 October 2020
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    Shamima Begum headed for Syria to join the Daesh 'caliphate' with two other female friends in 2015 at the age of 15. She dropped from the radar only to reappear in a February 2019 interview with the Times. Now, Begum floats in legal limbo, unable to return to the UK, and having lost three children in the country to disease and malnutrition.

    British Daesh* bride, Shamima Begum, was "groomed and radicalised" because of a "failure" by UK authorities to shield her from terrorist groups, the lawyer representing her family has asserted.

    In a letter published by the Times, the lawyer, Mohammed Akunjee, also accused the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, of "human fly-tipping" for his decision to strip 19-year-old Miss Begum of her citizenship back in February as a punishment for her decision to travel to Daesh's caliphate in Syria in 2015.

    However, Mr Akunjee's strident tirade did not end there, he also went on to demand that British authorities overturn Mr Javid's decision and issue an apology to both the Begum family and Shamima Begum personally.

    "On behalf of Shamima Begum's family we write inviting you — or your successor as Secretary of State for the Home Department ("SSHD") — to reverse your decision to deprive Shamima of her citizenship and to apologise to her and her family for the breaches of international and domestic law encompassed in that decision," the letter addressed to Mr Javid reads.

    Many across social media however, are not convinced by Mr Akunjee's appeals. 

    ​Mr Akunjee also described Home Secretary Javid's decision in rather vitriolic terms as, "the most profoundly egregious, capricious and politically driven abuse of power," going on to make the claim that Miss Begum had been exploited as "a pawn to your vanity."

    At the start of April, from the Al-Roj camp for suspected former Daesh fighters situated in northeastern Syria, Miss Begum claimed to have been "brainwashed" by the terrorist organisation, and emphasised that she was "just a housewife" during her time in the so-called caliphate which stretched from 2015-2019.

    ​After revoking Miss Begum's citizenship for joining Daesh in February 2019, Home Secretary Javid suggested that she could go on to claim citizenship in Bangladesh, due to having parental origins in that country. That suggestion was quickly gunned down by Bangladesh, who said that Miss Begum had been "erroneously identified" as a citizen by the UK government and that she had "never" visited the country. Indeed, the country's Foreign Minister, Abdul Momen, went on in April to say that if Miss Begum ended up in Bangladesh, she could be "hanged" for participating in terrorism.

    In his letter to the UK government, Mr Akunjee touched on the Bangladesh controversy, saying that, "Shamima Begum's parents never contemplated a life for her in Bangladesh. They did not register her birth with the Bangladeshi High Commission. They did not take her to Bangladesh on holiday as a child. Indeed she has never visited the country. Rather, Shamima was born, raised, groomed and radicalised here in the UK."

    "It is the responsibility of a British Secretary of State to deal with British problems. Rather than take responsibility for Shamima Begum and her son, you took a British problem and illegally dumped it on our innocent international neighbours. Through sleight of hand, you have sought to burden the Bangladeshis with her in the longer term. Your cynical decision amounts to human fly-tipping," the letter adds.

    *Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

    Tags:
    daesh bride, grooming, revoking citizenship, Terrorism, Daesh, Tasnime Akunjee, Shamima Begum, Sajid Javid, Raqqah, Syria, United Kingdom
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