The ITV news on Wednesday published a letter from the Home Office (UK interior ministry) addressed to the family of Shamima Begum declaring that the 19-year-old British mother of one had been stripped of her UK citizenship.
The decision by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a prominent Conservative party member of Pakistani origin, is expected to spark widespread controversy. Javid reportedly made the decision after a significant portion of the media called on him to block Begum’s plea to return to Britain because she appeared unrepentant about what she had seen in Syria. The girl, whose family is of Bangladeshi heritage, had also justified the May 2017 terror attack in Manchester, which killed 22 people, saying it was a result of UK military’ intervention in the Middle East, Presstv reported.
Begum’s family members said they would challenge the decision by Javid. Their lawyers said the young woman, who is now in a camp in Syria with her newly-born child, had become stateless as a result of the move, which is justifiable under the British law but only in situations that the person whose citizenship is revoked would “not” be rendered stateless.
The opposition Labour Party slammed the decision, apparently meant to please the voters increasingly frightened by terror threats.
“If the government is proposing to make Shamima Begum stateless it is not just a breach of international human rights law but is a failure to meet our security obligations to the international community,” said Diane Abbott, who serves as Labour’s shadow home secretary.
Hundreds of UK nationals joined Daesh and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria since conflicts erupted in the two Arab countries several years ago. The Conservative government has repeatedly been criticized for its lax controls that allowed those nationals, many of them teenagers, to be radicalized and leave the country to join the Takfiri terrorists.