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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UK teen Shamima Begum was strict enforcer under Daesh ‘morality police’

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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.


Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

Updated 19 October 2020

Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

  • Police detain Mohammad Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he is staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz

KARACHI: Pakistani police arrested the son-in-law of the country’s exiled former Nawaz Sharif on Monday after he led a crowd in chanting against the military at the tomb of the country’s founder.
The arrest of Mohammad Safdar comes as Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party has joined a series of nationwide protests against the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Police detained Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he was staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz, who addressed a large anti-government rally Sunday.
Safdar on Sunday had visited the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led independence movement to get a separate homeland from Britain in 1947 when united India was divided into two countries: India and Pakistan. Jinnah remains a revered figure in Muslim-majority Pakistan, with his tomb often drawing politicians and leaders.
While at the tomb, Safdar led a crowd in chanting: “Give respect to the vote!” That slogan is viewed in Pakistan as criticism of the country’s military, which ruled the country of 220 million people — directly or indirectly — for most of its history.
Chanting political slogans at Jinnah’s tomb is widely considered taboo. Police say they arrested Safdar, himself a member of the Pakistan Muslim League party, after receiving a complaint from a citizen alleging he was harassed.
The 70-year-old Sharif who has had a long uneasy relationship with the military, served as Pakistan’s prime minister three times. A court in 2017 ousted him from power over corruption allegations. Sharif has been staying in London since November after being allowed to receive medical treatment abroad.
Several opposition leaders have faced criminal charges in recent weeks as organized opposition to Khan, a former cricketer, grows.