LONDON: UK Daesh bride Shamima Begum has been warned that Germany’s acceptance of eight women with links to the terror group does not set a legal precedent regarding her own case.
London-born Begum fled to Syria aged 15 with three school friends and now lives in a refugee camp in the war-torn country following her capture.
After her British citizenship was removed in 2019, preventing her return, she appealed for urgent assistance and has been engaged in a lengthy legal battle over her right to return to the UK.
Germany’s decision to fly back eight women from the Roj prison camp in northeastern Syria has been seen by some as a turning of the tide in Begum’s legal battle.
However, Christopher Cole, a consultant solicitor, told the Daily Express newspaper there was “little chance” that Britain would be influenced by Germany’s decision.
“What has been decided is that she is not going to be allowed back to the UK to give evidence. So she’s going to have to give evidence from the refugee camp in Syria. Obviously, she’ll be arguing that she is not a danger to the UK and never was.”
Begum was also likely to argue that she would never be allowed into Bangladesh, the birthplace of her parents, he added.
“The supreme judges in this country have decided that, as a matter of law, she is entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship, although I think she may try and rehash that argument.”
He also raised the issue of a controversial interview with The Times newspaper, which saw Begum appearing to lack remorse over crimes and terror carried out by Daesh.
“By courting the media and doing those interviews, that did her no favors. Hundreds of them have come back from Syria, but once you are in the public eye, the government’s got to be seen to do something about it.”
In the wake of the German decision, Heiko Maas, the country’s foreign minister, said: “The children are not to blame for their situation. It is right that we do everything we can to enable them to live in safety and in a good environment. The mothers will have to answer to the criminal justice system for their actions.”