Bangladesh asserted that Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen and hence can’t be allowed to stay in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is deeply concerned that Shamima Begum has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship, said the Foreign Minister, Shahrial Alam.
Shahrial Alam, state minister of foreign affairs, in a statement circulated in media, said: “The government of Bangladesh is deeply concerned that [Begum] has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship”.Bangladesh is deeply concerned that [Begum] has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship
“Bangladesh asserts that Ms Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She is a British citizen by birth and never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh… There is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh”, said Alam. Begum described the decision as “kind of heart-breaking” when she was told the news by the journalist.
Bangladesh heard from media reports about the UK government plans to revoke the citizenship of the British teenager who left her home in London four years ago, when she was just 15 years old, to join the Islamic State group in Syria.
A copy of the Home Office letter sent to Shamima Begum’s mother informing her of the decision was obtained by the broadcaster. It showed the government department asking her to “ensure the Home Secretary’s decision is brought to” Shamima Begum’s attention.
Attorney Tasnime Akunjee tweeted saying, “the family is very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship”.
Begum, who gave birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp has asked to return to the UK with her newborn child. She said she did not regret joining the Islamic State group, with her fate highlighting the challenges faced by Western governments on how to deal with returning IS fighters.
The British authorities estimate around 900 Britons traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the conflict, of whom around 300-400 have since returned – and 40 have been prosecuted. Under international law, it is illegal to render a person stateless by revoking their nationality. It is unclear how plans to revoke Begum’s citizenship will be implemented.
Shamima Begum escaped from Baghouz, the last IS stronghold in eastern Syria, two weeks ago. Her husband, a Dutch convert to Islam, surrendered to Syrian fighters as they left. Begum had two other children while in Syria, but both died.
Sajid Javid criticised the IS members returning to the UK saying, “My message is clear – if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return.”
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