Shamima Begum has failed in her legal bid to challenge the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship.
Begum was 15 years old when she travelled from Bethnal Green, east London, through Turkey and into territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State (IS).
Her British citizenship was revoked shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.
Begum, now 23, brought a challenge against the Home Office over this decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a specialist tribunal which hears challenges to decisions to remove someone’s British citizenship on national security grounds.
Following a five-day hearing in November, the tribunal dismissed her challenge on Wednesday.
Giving the decision of the commission, Mr Justice Jay said that the tribunal found that there was a “credible suspicion” Begum had been trafficked to Syria for sexual exploitation, “to which, as a child, she could not give a valid consent”.
“In the commission’s opinion, there is a credible suspicion that Begum was recruited, transferred and then harboured for the purpose of sexual exploitation,” he continued in the ruling.
However, the specialist tribunal ruled that a finding that Begum had been trafficked did not prevent the then-home secretary from removing her citizenship.
Mr Justice Jay also said in a summary of the commission’s decision that the existence of this suspicion was “insufficient” for her to succeed on her arguments that the deprivation of her British citizenship failed to respect her human rights, adding that given she was now in Syria, the Home Secretary was not compelled to facilitate her return nor stopped from using “deprivation powers”.
Shortly after the ruling, ‘she’s British’ started trending on Twitter.
Here’s what people had to say:
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