Tory MP says Britain is ‘shirking responsibility’ over Shamima Begum

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The government has been accused of “avoiding responsibility” towards Shamima Begum and other former ISIS members in the UK.

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Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, who co-chairs the All Party parliamentary group on Britons smuggled into Syria, said the refusal to bring them back for trial was also “making us all less safe”.

“As part of our leadership and as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council as an example, we really should not leave these people roaming around in uncontrolled places, but on the advice of Americans and many other countries. And the example should be followed so that we can return our country as citizens,” he said. Granthshala.


Mitchell said there was a “strong case” that Begum and other girls and women who traveled to the Isis region were trafficked for sex and are victims of modern slavery.

He continued: “Since when was a schoolgirl too much for the British justice system? Britain is following not only step by step with our allies who are bringing back its citizens, it is also as a nation It is up to us to shirk our responsibility to British citizens and, as security experts warn, it makes us all less safe.

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A recent court case has heard how IS supporters around the world are raising money for smugglers to drive jihadists out of camps holding Begum.

They are operated by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have repeatedly appealed to the UK and other countries to repatriate detainees and warned that they may not be able to secure the camps in the event of an incursion by Turkish or regime forces. .

Maya Foa, director of the legal charity Repriv, said detainees could face “torture and the death penalty” if transferred to Iraq or parts of Syria controlled by Bashar al-Assad.

“The UK now stands in contrast to the majority of other countries, which had citizens in north-east Syria, did not bring them back,” he said. “Most of the British people are children, followed by women and then men. Every other country has developed some kind of approach. The US, our closest security ally, has told us to bring people back in the interest of security. needed.

Ms Foa accused the government of having a “do nothing” approach and a political agenda “above the interests of security and justice”.

The argument that the Begum may have been taken to Syria for sexual abuse as a child has led her lawyers in a protracted legal battle to return to Britain.

The former Bethnal Green schoolgirl, who left London for Syria at the age of 15, has been stripped of her British citizenship by an unknown number of suspected ISIS members as part of efforts to keep her out of Britain.

In a new interview from a Syrian detention camp, she claimed she could be “an asset” in the fight against terror and wants to help the government.

The Begum, now 22, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I regret every decision I’ve made since I moved to Syria and I will live with it for the rest of my life… all I can say is I’m sorry. Do it and give me a second chance.”

The government has repeatedly suggested that it is unable to successfully prosecute Begum and other former ISIS members detained in Syria, but said it was ready to stand trial, adding: “The crime I committed was was dumb enough to join IS.”

Membership of a banned terrorist organization is a terrorist offense punishable with imprisonment of up to 14 years.

In February, the Supreme Court ruled that Begum could not return to the UK to fight her case, which sits with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

In June, her lawyers argued that the Home Office had a legal duty to investigate whether Begum was a victim of trafficking when her citizenship was revoked on security grounds in 2019.

The Begum also wants to challenge the removal of her British citizenship on the grounds that it made her “de facto stateless” and that the decision was procedurally unfair.

Of the nearly 900 people who left Britain to join conflicts in Syria and Iraq since 2014, about a fifth were killed and 40 percent returned. A Home Office spokesman said: “The government’s top priority is to try and keep our national security safe. The public is safe. We do not regularly comment on personal matters.”


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