Shamima Begum’s legal fight reaches Court of Appeal

The 24-year-old previously lost a challenge against the decision to strip her of her British citizenship on national security grounds.

Shamima Begum’s legal fight over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship is set to reach the Court of Appeal.

The 24-year-old previously lost a challenge against the decision to strip her of her citizenship on national security grounds at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

In a ruling in February, Mr Justice Jay said that while there was a “credible suspicion that Ms Begum was recruited, transferred and then harboured for the purpose of sexual exploitation”, this did not prevent then-home secretary Sajid Javid from removing her citizenship.

Following the decision, Ms Begum’s lawyers said they would be challenging the ruling and that the legal battle was “nowhere near over”.

A three-day hearing at the Court of Appeal in London is expected to begin on Tuesday.

Ms Begum was 15 when she travelled from Bethnal Green, east London, through Turkey and into territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in 2015, before her citizenship was revoked in February 2019.

During the five-day hearing in November 2022, Ms Begum’s lawyers argued she should have been viewed as a victim of child trafficking and that she was “persuaded, influenced and affected with her friends by a determined and effective Isis propaganda machine”.

In the ruling, Mr Justice Jay said the case had been “of great concern and difficulty”.

He continued: “This Secretary of State… maintains that national security is a weighty factor and that it would take a very strong countervailing case to outweigh it.

“Reasonable people will profoundly disagree with the Secretary of State, but that raises wider societal and political questions which it is not the role of this commission to address.”

The hearing before the Lady Chief Justice Lady Carr, Lord Justice Bean and Lady Justice Whipple is due to begin at 10.30am.

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