- Shamima Begum’s lawyer said that if she returns to Bangladesh, she will be hanged
- Dan Squires KC tells appeal hearing 23-year-old is now ‘effectively stateless’
- Home Secretary Sajid Javid ‘failed to consider impact of citizenship removal’
- Bangladeshi officials have said they will not provide any assistance to Begum.
Shamima Begum’s lawyers have said she will be hanged if she returns to Bangladesh and is now effectively stateless.
The then Home Secretary Sajid Javid should have considered the implications of revoking Ms Begum’s citizenship when she had never been to Bangladesh and had no passport for the country.
Dan Squires Casey, for Ms Begum, said: ‘It is clear that he did not consider the possibility that the deprivation judgment would render the appellant virtually stateless.’
Home Office documents show that Begum’s ‘legal’ status was only confirmed internally on 18 February 2019, the day her citizenship was removed.
Mr Squires said in the submissions, “There is nothing in any of the Home Secretary’s evidence to suggest that matters relating to actual citizenship were considered prior to, or indeed at any time before, the decision to deprive. “
Shamima Begum (pictured last year at Al-Roz refugee camp in Syria) will be hanged if she returns to Bangladesh and is now effectively stateless, her lawyers have said
Her British citizenship was revoked on grounds of national security in February 2019, shortly after she was found nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp.
At issue was whether Begum would be recognized as a citizen by Bangladesh, with any protection or practical assistance, or even allowed to enter the country.
Mr Squires said, “The Home Secretary has not responded to the allegation that the decision-maker had neither applied its mind to the issue nor taken steps such as contacting the Bangladeshi authorities to ascertain their position on the appellant. “
‘In the absence of any response or evidence to the contrary, it is presumed that the allegation is well founded.’
Had such an inquiry been made, ‘the obvious inference is that the Bangladeshi authorities would have provided the Home Secretary with information consistent with his subsequent public statements about the appellant’.
In statements, Bangladeshi officials said that they did not consider Begum to be a Bangladeshi citizen, and would not provide any assistance to her.
“On the contrary, the Bangladesh authorities would have confirmed that the appellant would be hanged upon entering the country,” Mr Squires said.
‘It was in the public statements of the Bangladeshi authorities immediately after the decision was taken that their tough position was taken in relation to the appellant.’
Begum (centre) was one of three UK teenagers at Bethnal Green Academy who traveled to join ISIS in February 2015, along with Kadira Sultana (left), 16, and Amira Abase (right), There were 15. Sultana is believed to have died in an airstrike in May 2016 while the whereabouts of the Abbess are unknown.
Ms Begum, now 23, is challenging the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship, with her lawyers arguing the department had a legal duty to investigate whether she was a victim of trafficking.
On 20 February 2019, the day after the deprivation verdict, the Bangladeshi government issued a press release stating that they disputed Begum’s Bangladeshi citizenship and that she would not be allowed to enter Bangladesh.
In the statement, he said: ‘The Government of Bangladesh is deeply concerned that Shamima Begum has been wrongly identified as a holder of dual citizenship shared with Bangladesh by her birthplace, the United Kingdom.
‘Bangladesh claims that Ms. Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. He is a British citizen by birth and has never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh.
‘It may also be mentioned that he has never visited Bangladesh in the past despite the lineage of his parents. Therefore, there is no question of allowing him to enter Bangladesh.
Ms Begum’s lawyers said: ‘It is clear that, had the Home Secretary inquired as to the practical effect of depriving the appellant of his citizenship, he might have understood that the appellant was left without the protection of any State can go. The dire situation in Al-Roz camp.
‘He would be aware that the decision of deprivation would render the appellant virtually stateless.’
‘It was, or should have been, known to the Home Secretary that even where deprivation does not result in statutory statelessness, it may render a person de facto stateless, which may have extremely serious practical consequences ‘
consideration of the likely effect of the deprivation on the appellant required the Home Secretary to consider whether Bangladesh was likely to grant him protection as a national, or allow him to enter and reside in Bangladesh , and if not, what would be the actual effect the stateless would have on the appellant.
The government said the issue should have been raised in Ms Begum’s preliminary hearing before the SIAC in October 2019.
He accused her lawyers of using the argument as a ‘Trojan horse to resolve the issue’.
“It is submitted that this is an abuse of process or in the alternative Ms. Begum has been prevented from raising the issue in these proceedings,” he added.
MI5 made an assessment that ‘deprivation was the most effective risk mitigation.’
“For the sake of completeness and for the avoidance of doubt, the Security Service continues to assess that Ms Begum poses a risk to national security,” he added.
Home Office lawyers said the argument ‘appears to be a claim that it is the duty of the Secretary of State to seek the views of foreign governments before deciding whether one of their citizens should be admitted to their British whether to deprive the citizenship or not.
‘Such an argument, if SIAC were to accept it, would have very serious consequences – indeed, it would potentially deactivate the entire deprivation regime.’
He said that it would be ‘relatively straightforward’ for a foreign government to deny that a person is either a national or a state that they would not be treated as one, even if there was no basis in that state’s nationality laws.
Her lawyers said the Home Secretary had failed to consider whether the Begum was prevented from leaving ISIS-controlled territory because she was a ‘child bride’, a victim of violence, abuse of power and other forms of coercion or persuasion. was facing.
‘It is well known that once in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria, girls and women who actually tried to escape from their husbands and ISIS were detained and violently punished, along with their passports were confiscated, which also prevented the escape. ‘ They said.
The Home Office admits it was ‘difficult’ but not ‘near impossible’, citing the example of a British man who left ISIS in early 2015.
But her lawyers said: ‘The Home Secretary took no consideration of the known circumstances of a young woman who had been under the control of ISIS since the age of 15, given into marriage and the obvious barriers to escape whether practical or psychological – especially apparently taking into account the fact that she was still a teenager, had been pregnant for quite some time, and was responsible for caring for the newborn children.
‘Thus, a very important period of her adolescence was spent in a situation where she was unable to make a choice about her life and indeed her significant life experience was that of a child bride.’
Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /