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Brunilde Fioravanti
Febbraio 26, 2021

The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that Shamima Begum, a British woman who travelled to join the Islamic State (IS) group in 2015 at the age of 15, will not be allowed to return to the UK to contest the stripping of her citizenship.

In this file handout photo taken on February 17, 2015 a video grab taken from CCTV, received from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) shows Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, south of London.

The young woman is now detained in an ISIS camp run by the Kurds in Syria, her husband is imprisoned in that country and her three children have died.

Begum wants to come back and challenge the Home Office's decision to remove her British citizenship.

The unanimous ruling reversed findings by the Court of Appeal that Shamima Begum was denied the right of an effective appeal against the Home Secretary's decision to strip her of her citizenship, by refusing her entry into the country to challenge that decision.

The Court of Appeal ruled in July past year that Begum needed to come back to mount a fair and effective appeal.

The runaway schoolgirl, who is now 21, left with friends to join the Islamic State group in 2015, after which the Government stripped her of British nationality so she can not return.

The woman, now 21, was found in an army-controlled refugee camp in Syria, where she told reporters she wanted to return to the UK.

The judgement is a crucial test case in determining United Kingdom policy on stripping citizenship from Britons who leave the state to join ISIS and are being detained by Syrian Kurdish groups without trial.

Bangladesh has said it will not allow Begum entry and that she has no rights to the country's citizenship.

Her third child died in the al-Roj camp in March 2019, shortly after he was born.

But the interior ministry in turn appealed against this decision, insisting she remained "aligned" with the proscribed terrorist organisation.

Begum's lawyers argued that she could not properly defend herself stranded in detention in Syria, where she could not properly correspond with her legal team.

Begum's case has been the subject of a heated debate in Britain, pitting those who say she forsook her right to citizenship by travelling to join Daesh against those who argue she should not be left stateless but rather face trial in Britain.

Rights groups, which have argued Begum should answer for any crimes in her home country, reacted with dismay to the ruling.

The tabloid newspaper The Sun has called her a "vile fanatic" who has "no place on our soil".

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