Ex-Daesh* bride Shamima Begum, currently held in Syria's Al-Roj prison camp, has again begged to be allowed back into the UK, reports the Daily Mail.
In a new documentary filmed at the detention facility, the 21-year old said:
“I don't think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake.”
Dressed in jeans and a cap, Begum – who is banned from travelling to the UK after her British citizenship was revoked and a court blocked her return citing security concerns – added:
“I personally don't think that I need to be rehabilitated, but I would want to help other people be rehabilitated. I would love to help.”
She was interviewed by filmmaker Andrew Drury for his "Danger Zone" doc. In a reference to her recent “makeover,” which has seen her swap a full-length chador gown and black hijab for jeans and a hoodie, she said:
“I wear these clothes, and I don't wear a hijab, because it makes me happy. And anything in this camp that makes me happy is like a lifesaver.”
When Drury, who makes documentaries from war zones for Netflix, asked her what she would say to people in the UK, she replied: “Can I come home please, pretty please?”
Since meeting the woman, Drury has argued her case, saying she should be allowed to return to the UK to stand trial.
“We were about to say goodbye and I didn't know the protocol because bear in mind she is there as a terrorist. I went to shake her hand and she started to cry and said to me, “Can I have a hug?'”
He added that he thought the “vulnerable 21-year-old” had committed a “childish mistake.”
‘Legal Black Hole’
Born to Bangladeshi parents, Begum left her home in Bethnal Green, East London, together with two other teenage girls, to travel to Syria through Turkey to join the terrorist organisation in 2015.
She subsequently married a Dutch-born jihadist and gave birth to three children in Syria, who all reportedly died.
Sporting a traditional hijab and voicing support for Daesh, Begum was discovered by journalists in a Syrian camp in February 2019.
That same year, Britain's then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her citizenship on national security grounds. While the UK Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to challenge the decision, the Home Office subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court to reconsider the judgement.
However, in February the Supreme Court ruled the government had been entitled to prevent Begum from returning to the UK. It added that the woman’s due process rights are indefinitely suspended until she can play “an effective part in her appeal without the public’s safety being compromised.”
The court's decision was slammed by human rights groups; Liberty said it sets an "extremely dangerous precedent," while Maya Foa, director of the human rights group Reprieve, argued that the United Kingdom was "abandoning" Brits like Begum in a "legal black hole."
The former Daesh bride has been at the Kurdish-run Al-Roj camp in northeastern Syria for around two years now.
She also appeared in the documentary "The Return: Life After ISIS," aired at the online Texas-based South By Southwest festival in March, in which she appealed to the British public to give her a “second chance."
Shamima Begum and Hoda Muthana made it into worldwide headlines when they left their countries as teenagers to join ISIS. Now they want to return, but their countries don’t want them back.— MetFilm Sales (@MetFilm_Sales) March 17, 2021
THE RETURN: LIFE AFTER ISIS - World Premiere at @sxsw TODAY: https://t.co/HMRe4wZBGx pic.twitter.com/VmejFk9H8z
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/“Islamic State”) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and other nations