top of page

Losing Citizenship what is in store for Shamima begum in the nearest future?

In March 2023, Shamima Begum had lost her appeal against the Immigration Secretary Savid Javid’s decision to revoke Shamima’s Begums citizenship in 2019. The special immigration appeals commission ruled further that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that Miss Begum had been trafficked nor did the aftereffect duties of the state prevent the Secretary of State from using his deprivation powers. Unless Shamima Begum, could prove that there was conclusive suspicion that she had been trafficked to Syria it was the job of the secretary of state to enquire into this thoroughly.

Henceforth, Savid Javid’s decision to revoke Shamima Begum’s citizenship in 2019 was lawful. This ruling is contentious on every angle as there is direct evidence to demonstrate that Shmima Begum was trafficked into Syria by the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Background on Shamima Begum

After school Friend Sharmeena Begum left London to join ISIS in December 2014, Shamima Begum 15, her two school friends Amira Abase 15 and Kadiza Sultana 16 had also left London in 2015 to Join the extremist group. They travelled through Turkey to Syria and where smuggled into Syria by an intelligence agent for Canada.

10 days on arrival to the then ISIS stronghold Raqqa, Shamima Begum and her two Friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana had married Jihadist fighters, Shamima was only 15 at the time of marriage. Shamima , also went on to give birth to 3 children whom all died during infancy. When ISIS had been defeated Shamima was taken to a refugee camp in northern Syria, shortly after this the then Home Secretary Savid Javid revoked her citizenship.

Why was Begums Citizenship revoked given a few hundred cases in the UK had been reconsidered?

In 2019 after revoking Shamima Begum’s citizenship Javid stated he removed her citizenship for national security purposes, and that as Shamima Begum travelled to Syria to join ISIS she did so on her own free will and continues to present a threat to national security.

Is Begum now stateless?

Section 40 (4) of the British Nationality Act 1981, stipulates that an individual cannot be deprived of his or her citizenship if it would render them stateless. The UK had ratified both the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless People and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Whilst the 1954 convention gives an opportunity for the stateless person to submit evidence to clear himself, to appeal, and to be represented by a competent authority as per Article 31 (2). The 1961 Convention is clear on its stance that a state should not deprive its citizen of nationality if it were to make them stateless as per Article 8 of the convention.

However, Savid Javid continued to assert that by revoking Shamima Begum’s citizenship it would not lead Shamima Begum to become stateless as she is entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship by descent due to Bangladesh’s Jus Sanguinis law. Despite this Begum has never been to Bangladesh and was born in the UK to Bangladeshi Parents. The Bangladeshi Minister had made it clear that Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen, and she could face capital punishment charges for joining ISIS.

The argument here is that even if the deprivation decision did not make Shamima Begum technically stateless, it is unlikely that Bangladesh is willing or able to afford Ms Begum with any protection overseas, and there is no reasonable chance that Ms Begum could go to Bangladesh in the foreseeable future. If the home secretary had undertaken proper enquiries with the Bangladeshi minister, they would have seen that Shamima was being threatened with death.

Tareena Shakil

Tareena Shakil was the first women to be convicted in the UK for joining Islamic state, despite evidence that Tareena had took part in ISIS propaganda she was allowed to come back to the UK after 3 months, and was sentenced to 6 years in prison at the age of 26. Tareena Shakil originally from Birmingham had travelled to Syria with her infant son in order to join the extremist group. When being interviewed after leaving prison Tareena asserted that, she regretted her decision and was far from the best version of herself. When asked in an ITV news documentary what should happen to Shamima Begum she stated: Hers was not the same situation because I chose to escape to leave ISIL when they were at their peak as opposed to waiting for the fall of ISIL and then saying I want to come back.

There is no doubt that Begum’s case raises social and political questions, however in principle Ms Begum’s legal representative have said that Ms Begum’s case is far from over, and that she has two forms of appeals left. As such, Ms Begum has recourse to the full appeal process at the European Court of Human rights in Strasbourg in relation to Article 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which states “No one shall be held in Slavery or servitude.”

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page