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Shamima Begum loses bid to regain UK citizenship

Shamima Begum's attempt to reclaim her British citizenship has been rejected by the Court of Appeal.
The 24-year-old will remain in Syria after the UK government revoked her citizenship in 2019 citing security risks.

Begum, originally from London, joined the Islamic State (IS) in Syria at age 15. The unanimous court ruling against her appeal may still see an attempt to challenge it in the Supreme Court.

Despite acknowledging the severity of Begum's situation, Lady Chief Justice Baroness Carr stated the court's role was solely to determine if revoking her citizenship was legal, concluding that it was lawful and the appeal failed.

Begum's legal team had argued she may have been trafficked, but the Home Office emphasized the national security threat. The verdict is seen as a significant win for the government, emphasizing the primacy of security in citizenship decisions.

The Home Office welcomed the decision, reinforcing their commitment to UK safety. Meanwhile, Begum's lawyers suggested they might seek a Supreme Court review, a process that could take a year.

Gareth Peirce, from Begum's legal team, argued the UK has a moral obligation to repatriate her, as other countries have done with their citizens in Syria. Begum, who is of Bangladeshi descent, was one of three girls who left London for Syria in 2015 to join IS.

During her time under IS, Begum married, lived in Raqqa, and had three children, who have all since died. She is currently in a camp in northern Syria under dire conditions, which her lawyers claim amount to torture and inhumane treatment.

Begum has confessed to joining IS and expressed remorse, stating that she is "ashamed" of her actions.

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