ISIS bride Shamima Begum – the British woman who fled to Syria in 2015 to join the terrorist group and quickly married one of their fighters – lost her offer to return to the UK to fight for citizenship restoration on Friday. because it is a security risk.
A unanimous decision by the UK Supreme Court overturned an appeal court ruling last year allowing Begum to return to a fair appeal in her case.
“The right to a fair hearing does not outweigh any other consideration such as the safety of the public,” said Robert Reed, president of the Supreme Court, told Reuters.
“When an important public interest makes it impossible for a case to be fair, the courts usually cannot hear it,” he said, adding that Begum’s appeal should be suspended until it can play an effective role in the case, without endangering the public.
“This is not a perfect solution as it is not known how long it will take to do this. But there is no perfect solution to a dilemma of the current type, ”he said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the verdict, his spokesman said, adding that the government’s priority is “maintaining our national security”.
UK-born Begum, 21, was 15 when she picked up with two other school girls from Bethnal Green Academy in East London to join the terrorist group.
Two weeks later she married an ISIS fighter and lived in Raqqa, the capital of the self-declared caliphate. In 2019, Begum turned to a refugee camp in Syria where three of her children died.
She told reporters that she wanted to return home, but former Interior Minister Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship months later and domestic intelligence viewed her as a security threat.
He argued that she was of Bangladeshi descent and could go there instead.
Begum is now in the Roj camp run by Syrian Kurdish authorities where UN legal experts said this month the conditions are “subhuman”.
Human rights groups said the UK has a duty to bring Begum and others back in similar situations and prosecute them for crimes they may have committed instead of leaving them abroad.
“Working in a legal black hole – under guantanamo-like conditions – is inconsistent with British values and the interests of justice and security,” Maya Foa, director of the Reprieve campaign group, told Reuters.
With postal wires