Shamima Begum: Taking citizenship away is 'unjust'

"In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today [February 19], and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made", the letter from the Home Office obtained by ITV states.

She left London in February 2015 with two school friends to follow another classmate to Syria.

"It could run for a very long time through the courts", Alex Carlile told the BBC.

"Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland".

British broadcaster ITN published reproductions of the letter received by Begum's parents printed on Home Office letterheaded paper, informing them she had the right to appeal the decision.

According to the letter sent out by officials, Ms Begum has the right to appeal the decision to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

It would have been illegal under global law to make the 19-year-old stateless, but British authorities have found a loophole: She is of Bangladeshi heritage and is entitled to dual citizenship because her mother holds a Bangladeshi passport, though the 19-year-old says she has never been to the country, the BBC reports. Her jihadi husband is Dutch. It's a bit upsetting and frustrating.

The 21-year-old from York, who has been left raising her sister, 14, said Ms Begum was "out of order" and had "made her bed".

She added: "It's kind of heart-breaking to read". I think the only reason she wants to come back is she couldn't stay where she was.

Rendering people stateless by taking away their only form of citizenship violates global law, according to a barrister who has previously reviewed terrorism legislation.

Javid says he is relying on a section of the British Nationality Act 1981, which states that he can take away a person's citizenship "if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good". "The UK has claimed that the power is useful in cases where evidence is hard to gather and when national security issues are at stake".

Middle East minister Alistair Burt told the National this week that nobody could be made "stateless".

"British nationals have a right to come to the United Kingdom", he said, adding that "anyone who has put themselves in that situation can expect to be investigated and questioned and potentially prosecuted if they return to our jurisdiction". It also raises questions over the future of the children of IS fighters and brides.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned he "will not hesitate" to prevent the return of Britons who travelled to join Islamic State, but Justice Secretary David Gauke told Sky News "we can't make people stateless". She also said she was okay with beheadings and that she didn't regret joining the radical Islamic group and marrying an ISIS terrorist.

Her other two babies died, apparently from illness and malnutrition. "It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam", she told The Times, which first discovered her in the camp in Syria. Now aged 19, she said she wants to return to Britain.

  • Jon Douglas