London: Shamima Begum, a British resident who ran away in 2015 to become an Islamic State (IS) jihadi bride, has won a legal battle to be allowed to return home to fight the government’s decision to remove her UK citizenship, a media report said on Thursday.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeal said she had been denied a fair hearing because she could not make her case from the camp, the BBC reported.
The judgement means the government must now find a way to allow the 20-year-old to appear in court in London despite repeatedly saying it would not assist removing her from Syria.
Responding to the development, Daniel Furner, Begum’s solicitor, said: “She has never had a fair opportunity to give her side of the story. She is not afraid of facing British justice, she welcomes it.
“But the stripping of her citizenship without a chance to clear her name is not justice, it is the opposite.”
Begum had argued that the government’s decision to revoke her citizenship was unlawful because it left her stateless.
In 2015, Begum, then aged 15, was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy who left their homes and families to join the IS.
Kadiza Sultana, then 16, and Amira Abase, then 15, and Begum boarded a flight from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, on February 17, 2015, before making their way to Raqqa in Syria.
Sultana was reportedly killed in an air strike in 2016, while Abase’s current whereabouts remain unknown.
Begum has claimed that she married Dutch convert Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in IS territory, with all of her schoolfriends also reportedly marrying foreign fighters.
She told The Times newspaper that she left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband and her children who later died.
Her third child died shortly after he was born.