One of the UK’s most famous artists has described the government’s treatment of Shamima Begum, the British woman who went to Syria to join Daesh in 2015, as “disgraceful.”
Begum, who joined the terrorist group in Syria when she was 15 years old alongside two other British schoolgirls from London, had her citizenship revoked in 2019 by the Home Office.
She has since been forced to live in a refugee camp run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
In February, the UK Supreme Court ruled that Begum, now 21, would not be permitted to return to Britain to pursue an appeal against the Home Office decision.
British-Indian sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor — famous for the Orbit Tower in the Olympic Park in London, among other things — called the treatment of Begum a “disgraceful indictment of our national conscience.”
In a statement, he said: “Let us for one moment imagine that four young white school girls from Wiltshire were enticed to go to Syria and join IS (Daesh). Would they be seen as terrorists or victims of terrorists?”
He added: “We have no doubt that we would be demanding that no expense be spared and not a moment wasted in having them returned to the safety of their homes in England. The fact that Shamima wants to come back to the UK shows that she is willing to face the law here for her past mistakes.
“Shamima is a British citizen, and it is her right to be tried in the British courts by a jury of her peers for any offence she may have committed.”