Posted on February 20, 2019
Ms Begum was part of a trio of girls from Bethnal Green Academy to travel to the war-torn nation to support IS in February 2015. Her family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said they were “very disappointed” with the news but they were “considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision”. International law forbids nations from making people stateless by removing their only citizenship. Government guidance from 2017 states that the Home Secretary has the power to order the deprivation if it would be “conducive to the public good”, as long as they are not left without any citizenship.
But Mrs Akunjee told the Press Association that Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, was born in the UK, has never had a Bangladeshi passport and is not a dual citizen. The Home Office said such decisions are “not taken lightly” and are carried out “in order to protect this country”.
ITV News reported a letter from the department was received by Ms Begum’s mother on Tuesday. “Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship,” it read. “In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served of file today (19 February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made.”
The letter asked the mother to inform her daughter of the decision, as well as her right to appeal.