UK government wins bid for Supreme Court to hear ‘Daesh bride’ Shamima Begum’s case

Begum, 20, who is currently marooned in a Syrian refugee camp, lost the first stage of her case about the legality of the government’s decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in February. (Screenshot/ITV News)
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Updated 31 July 2020

UK government wins bid for Supreme Court to hear ‘Daesh bride’ Shamima Begum’s case

  • Home Office successfully appealed a lower court ruling this month which would have allowed Shamima Begum, 20, to return to Britain

LONDON: The UK government on Friday won a bid for the Supreme Court to decide if a woman stripped of her citizenship after joining the Daesh group in Syria can return to fight the decision.
The Home Office successfully appealed a lower court ruling this month which would have allowed Shamima Begum, 20, to return to Britain to pursue her appeal.
Begum, 20, who is currently marooned in a Syrian refugee camp, lost the first stage of her case about the legality of the government’s decision at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in February.
However, the tribunal also ruled she could not have a “fair and effective appeal” or play “any meaningful part” in the process, as she was living in a Syrian refugee camp.
Three senior judges at the Court of Appeal upheld that SIAC ruling on July 16, concluding Begum should be allowed to come to Britain for the legal challenge.

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They ruled “fairness and justice” outweighed any national security concerns, which “could be addressed and managed if she returns.”
But judge Eleanor King, one of that trio, said at a remote hearing Friday that the country’s highest court should now consider a case that raised “points of law of general public importance.”
Begum was 15 when she and two other schoolgirls from Bethnal Green in east London left home to join the group on February 17, 2015.
She claims she married a Dutch convert soon after arriving in Daesh-held territory. She was discovered, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year.
Her newborn baby died soon after she gave birth. Two of her other children also died under Daesh rule.
The then-home secretary, Sajid Javid, annulled Begum’s British citizenship on national security grounds after an outcry led by right-wing media.
That prompted her to take legal action, arguing the decision was unlawful, made her stateless and exposed her to the risk of death or inhuman and degrading treatment.
British-born Begum is of Bangladeshi heritage. But Bangladesh’s foreign minister has said he would not consider granting her citizenship.


Russia aims to produce ‘millions’ of virus doses by 2021

Updated 03 August 2020

Russia aims to produce ‘millions’ of virus doses by 2021

  • The Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and directors injected themselves with the prototype months ago
  • Scientists have told AFP that Russia will struggle to adapt the vaccine to mass production because the country lacks raw materials, adequate facilities and experience

MOSCOW: Russia said Monday it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine next month and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
The country is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes and one prepared at the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development.
“We are very much counting on starting mass production in September,” industry minister Denis Manturov said in an interview published by TASS news agency.
“We will be able to ensure production volumes of several hundred thousand a month, with an eventual increase to several million by the start of next year,” he said, adding that one developer is preparing production technology at three locations in central Russia.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on Saturday said the Gamaleya vaccine had “completed clinical trials” and that documents were being prepared to register it with the state.
Another vaccine, developed by Siberia-based Vektor lab, is currently undergoing clinical trials and two more will begin human testing within the next two months, Murashko said.
Gamaleya’s vaccine is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.
Gamaleya’s vaccine employs the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China’s CanSino, currently in the advanced stage of clinical trials.
The Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and directors injected themselves with the prototype months ago, with specialists criticizing the move as an unorthodox and rushed way of starting human trials.
Scientists have told AFP that Russia will struggle to adapt the vaccine to mass production because the country lacks raw materials, adequate facilities and experience, particularly with advanced technology like viral vector.
Some Russian officials have boasted that the country will be the first to come up with the vaccine, even comparing it to the space race to produce the first satellite in the Soviet era.
Moscow has dismissed allegations from the UK, the United States and Canada that a hacking group linked to Russian intelligence services tried to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine from labs in the West.
Russia’s coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.