UK Supreme Court: Woman who left UK to join ISIS cannot return while fighting to restore citizenship

Shamima Begum

FILE – This undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police of London, shows Shamima Begum. Shamima Begum who ran away from London as a teenager to join the Islamic State group lost her bid Friday Feb. 26, 2021 to return to the U.K. to fight for the restoration of her citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds. (Metropolitan Police of London via AP, File)

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The U.K.’s Supreme Court Friday ruled that a schoolgirl who left the country at age 15 to join ISIS cannot return to England while she fights to restore her citizenship.

Shamima Begum, who was born in the U.K., left the country in 2015 when she and two other schoolgirls fled the country and traveled to Syria in an effort to join the Islamic State group.

When Begum was found at a Syrian refugee camp in 2019, then-U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship on national security grounds. Begum has been held in a northern Syrian detention camp ever since.

Last July, the U.K.’s Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be able to return to England while she fights to restore her citizenship. However, Supreme Court President Lord Robert Reed ruled Friday that the Court of Appeal was “mistaken in ruling that Begum’s right to a fair hearing should prevail over competing rights,” according to CNN.

Reed also said that the Court of Appeal did not give Javid’s ruling the “respect it deserved” and deferred to the former Home Secretary’s view that Begum remained a security threat.

According to NPR, Begum married a Dutch fighter who had also joined the terrorist group upon her arrival in Syria in 2015. He’s currently being held in a Kurdish-run detention center in Syria.

Bergum has given birth to three children since leaving England, all of whom have sice died due to illness and the poor conditions in war-torn Syria.

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