ISIS bride Shamima Begum moved from Syrian camp, says lawyer 

The Sun newspaper reported on Friday that Begum had received death threats since speaking out about her plight and urging for her return to the UK during media interviews last month.

Published: 01st March 2019 07:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2019 07:00 PM   |  A+A-

This undated photo issued by the Metropolitan Police shows Shamima Begum. (Photo | AP)


LONDON: Shamima Begum, the Jihadi bride of Bangladeshi origin who fled London to join the Islamic State (ISIS) four years ago before resurfacing in Syria recently, has been moved out of her refugee camp over "safety concerns", according to her family's lawyer in the UK.

Tasnime Akunjee said the 19-year-old and her new-born son were removed from the Al-Hol camp in the north of Syria due to alleged threats and moved to a camp closer to the Iraqi border.

"I can confirm that it is our understanding that Shamima has been moved from Al-Hol due to safety concerns around her and her baby," he said.

"We further understand that indeed she and her child had been threatened by others at the al-Hol camp," he said.

The Sun newspaper reported on Friday that Begum had received death threats since speaking out about her plight and urging for her return to the UK during media interviews last month.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid had reacted by stripping Begum of her British citizenship, a decision her family has confirmed it would be mounting a legal challenge against.

The family's lawyer also confirmed plans to fly out to the region to begin the legal process against the UK Home Office decision.

"She needs a lawyer and we need her to sign these forms so that we can begin the appeals process. We know she is in a camp but not her exact location so we are trying to find this out at the moment from people on the ground," Akunjee said.

In an appearance before the UK Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee earlier this week, Javid had told MPs that the UK government may be open to the idea of allowing Begum's baby Jerah back as a British citizen.

"If it is possible for a British child to be brought to a place where there is British consular presence -- the closest place might be Turkey -- then in those circumstances it's potentially possible to arrange some sort of help with the consent of the parent," Javid said.

The Pakistani-origin minister also stressed that he had followed the letter of the law in revoking Begum's British citizenship, denying it was on the basis she might be entitled to Bangladeshi nationality -- which would be illegal -- but that she already had it.

"I have not deployed the power on the basis that someone could have citizenship to a second country,” he told the committee.

"I've always applied it on the strict advice (of lawyers) that when the power is deployed with respect to that individual they already have more than one citizenship," he said.

Citing his own Pakistani Muslim heritage, Javid said many people had contacted him and colleagues "of similar heritage of mine" had supported his decision to strip Begum of her citizenship.

Begum, who was 15 years old when she fled from Bethnal Green in east London in February 2015 and married a Dutch Muslim convert as a so-called ISIS "jihadi bride" in Syria, can challenge the decision of the UK Home Office to revoke her British citizenship at the UK's Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

The Bangladesh government has since intervened to deny that Begum is a dual national of its country or that she could be allowed entry into that country.


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