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Shamima Begum’s Father Urges British Government to Take Her Back

by in World on 11th March, 2019

In 2015 Shamima Begum left the UK as a 15-year-old teenager on a stolen passport belonging to her sister and made it through passport control at Gatwick airport. She was with two friends Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, the girls caught a flight to Turkey and were then reported to be in Syria. Kadiza Sultana has since been reported dead and there is no current update on Amira Abase. From Turkey they made their way to Syria in hope of a different life, in an interview with Sky Shamima shared:

“The way they showed that you can go [to Syria] and they’ll take care of you.

You can have your own family, do anything. You’re living under Islamic law.”

Her current reality is very different she comments:

“I get fed and I have a heater, but it’s kind of difficult going around doing stuff yourself – especially now I have a child.”

Shortly after the birth of her third child, she shared again her concerns as a mother with Sky News:

“I don’t really want to stay here, I don’t want to take care of my child in this camp because I’m afraid he might even die in this camp,”

The child she speaks about has now passed away due to the conditions and ill health. On the 8th of March 2019 is was confirmed by a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, the medical certificate states the baby passed away due to pneumonia. The father, Yago Riedijk, who remains in prison nearby was also informed of the news. This is the third child she has lost whilst in Syria.

Shamima is unable to return to the UK as her citizenship has been revoked based on her allegedly holding dual nationality with access to Bangladesh, however, the family in the UK, deny the dual citizenship and are challenging the UK’s decision.  Al Jazeera reports a foreign affairs official confirmed Begum is not Bangladeshi.

International law forbids countries from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship.

Shamima Begum’s father has also spoken to the BBC and asked the British public to forgive her.

“She has done wrong, I apologise to everyone as her father, to the British people. I am sorry for Shamima’s doing. I request to the British people, please forgive her. She was underage at that time, she couldn’t understand that much. I suppose someone influenced her to do that, I admit that she might have done wrong without realising it. 

He urged the British government and public to

“take her back and punish her if she had done any mistake”.

Kirsty McNeill who works at Save the Children as Head of policy, advocacy and campaigns, commented

 “all children associated with IS are victims of the conflict and must be treated as such”. “It is possible the death of this baby boy and others could have been avoided. The UK and other countries of origin must take responsibility for their citizens inside north-east Syria.”

We have rounded up the debates online:

Robina Quereshi Posts online with the Herald  “It’s time to let this traumatised teen home”

Last Friday, Shamima Begum’s baby boy Jerrah was buried at the age of 18 days old. He died from pneumonia after enduring…

Posted by Positive Action in Housing on Saturday, March 9, 2019

@Otto_English requests us all to show humanity whilst Chris Kepilo believes at 16 years old if she was criminally responsible.

Politicians like Dianne Abbott have also criticised Sajid Javed “Shamima Begum would have faced British justice, but the baby might have lived. has behaved shamefully”

Some have raised that she was/is a victim of abuse and initially was groomed and have pointed out that if she was a ‘white girl’ we would have approached it as such.

Some have sadly been celebrated the death of the baby

Other opinions

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Amaliah Writes

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