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Shamima Begum was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) in February 2015. Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year. Commentator Carole Malone has claimed that Ms Begum should not be allowed to return to the UK.
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine show, Ms Malone said: “Why should we pay the bill to monitor Shamima Begum?
“I don’t want this woman back in this country ever.
“This is a woman who was radicalised. She saw beheadings, she saw people being burned alive and she still left this country to go and join this death cult.
“She then married one of the most notorious murderers in this death cult and was involved in that extremism.
“The bottom line is if she gets back into this country she will never leave again.
“She knows that and we know that.
“But there is no justice for her. How can she ever go on trial for so-called crimes committed in this country?
“Who is going to supply the evidence? Where is it going to come from?
“It’s long gone, whatever evidence existed has long gone.”
In July, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal”.
However, the Home Office argues that allowing her to return to the UK “would create significant national security risks” and expose the public to “an increased risk of terrorism”.
On the second day of a remote hearing on Tuesday, Ms Begum’s lawyers argued that she “cannot play a meaningful part in her appeal” and must be allowed to return to the UK to challenge the removal of her citizenship.
Her barrister Lord Pannick QC said that, if Ms Begum could not return to the UK to pursue an effective appeal, “the deprivation appeal must be allowed” as there is “no other fair or just step that can be taken”.
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He told the court that the Government “cannot maintain a decision to deprive Ms Begum of her citizenship unless a means can be conferred on her, without unreasonable delay, (to have) a meaningful opportunity to appeal”.
Lord Pannick added: “Leave to enter the UK is the only effective such means available.”
Lord Pannick said in written submissions that the Syrian Democratic Forces, which control the al-Roj camp, “do not permit visits from lawyers nor do they permit detainees to speak to lawyers”.
He said Ms Begum was therefore “unable to give instructions on any detailed issues of fact” or review the national security case relied on by the Home Office in relation to “IS and the situation in Syria during the relevant period of time”.
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