Shamima Begum says there is 'no plan B' if British citizenship is not reinstated

by 24britishtvNov. 22, 2021, 9 p.m. 17
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Shamima Begum has made fresh calls to return to the UK and has claimed “there is no plan B” if the British Government does not reverse its position and reinstate her citizenship.

Speaking to Sky News, the 22-year-old former Isis bride said she has “hopes and dreams” for herself but is currently living in “hell on earth” after fleeing the UK in 2015.

Begum, who left her east London home when she was a 15-year-old schoolgirl, said she had been groomed by online friends and older men before she left to start a new life in Syria.

The 22-year-old repeated her denial of the accusation that she had carried out atrocities as part of the so-called Islamic State, saying they are “completely false”.

She said she “did not hate Britain” when she left to join Isis, as she repeated her plea to be able to fight accusations against her in court.

The UK stripped Begum of her citizenship along with an unknown number of suspected Isis members as part of efforts to keep them out of the UK.

The Government has repeatedly suggested it is unable to successfully prosecute Begum and other former Isis members detained in Syria.

Membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a terror offence punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

In February, the Supreme Court ruled that Begum is barred from returning to the UK to appeal the decision to strip her British citizenship.

She told the broadcaster, leaving the UK “wasn’t just a decision I made very quickly, it was a decision I thought about for a while”, saying she had been groomed for “weeks and weeks and maybe even months and months”.

“I didn’t hate Britain, I hated my life really. I felt very constricted, and I felt I couldn’t live the life that I wanted in the UK as a British woman.”

She remains in the al-Roj refugee camp in Syria, which she said has become “more scary” to live in.

“For a long time it wasn’t violent but for some reason it’s become more scary to live here. Maybe the women have got tired of waiting for something.”

Begum has previously told how she married an IS fighter from the Netherlands and suffered loss when her three children died in infancy.

She said when she goes to sleep she thinks of “my children dying, the bombings, the constant running, my friends dying”.

Business minister Paul Skully, who was later played the interview with Begum on Sky, said he did not want to debate the handling of Begum’s case for her British citizenship to be reinstated “over broadcast”, but said that the Supreme Court had “ruled” on her application.

He said: “I think the Supreme Court has ruled on this matter.

“In terms of the actual case, what I don’t want to do is have it out via broadcast.

“It has been heard by the Supreme Court after the Home Secretary made a really clear ruling.”

Asked whether she still represented a threat to national security, Mr Scully replied: “That I can’t tell. I’ve seen the interview there, but I’m not privy to intelligence documents.”

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