[ad_1]

MI5 described Shamima Begum‘s media blitz as ‘self-serving PR’ aimed at swaying public opinion in the run-up to her British citizenship appeal, it emerged today – as experts warned her court battle could cost the taxpayer more than £5million. 

The jihadi bride today lost her bid to strike down the Government’s decision to revoke her UK nationality for travelling to join ISIS aged 15, prompting her lawyers to promise they would challenge the decision and vow the case is ‘nowhere near over’. 

In the run-up to this morning’s court hearing, Ms Begum has made numerous media appearances – including a magazine cover, TV interviews and a 10-part BBC podcast series. 

The dim view MI5 took of this publicity campaign was revealed today in the copy of the judgment written by Mr Justice Jay. ‘In September and November 2021, Ms Begum was interviewed by Good Morning Britain and Sky News,’ it read. 

She denied reports in the media that she had sewn suicide vests or been part of ISIL’s [ISIS’s] morality police and claimed that her activities were limited to being a housewife and mother.

‘The MI5 assessment is that many of the comments Ms Begum made in her later interviews are likely to have been self-serving and an attempt to obtain favourable media coverage in the run-up to this appeal.’ 

Shamima Begum appearing this year on The Shamima Begum Story, a 10-part BBC podcast

Shamima Begum appearing this year on The Shamima Begum Story, a 10-part BBC podcast 

The jihadi bride appearing on Good Morning Britain in an exclusive interview in September 2021

The jihadi bride appearing on Good Morning Britain in an exclusive interview in September 2021 

The jihadi bride was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls fled to join ISIS in February 2015, with Ms Begum marrying a 23-year-old ISIS fighter ten days after arriving in Syria.   

Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by the former home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

Ms Begum, now 23, brought a challenge against the Home Office at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), where her lawyers argued she should be allowed to return to Britain on the basis she was ‘a victim of child sex trafficking’.   

Poll

Should Shamima Begum return to the UK?

  • Yes 524 votes
  • No 8322 votes

However, the Home Office defended the decision by saying the security services ‘continue to assess’ that she poses a risk to the UK. 

Judges dismissed Ms Begum’s challenge today, ruling that while there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ this was not enough for her appeal to succeed.  

Mr Justice Jay added that whether she posed a threat to national security was a decision for politicians, not the courts. 

With Ms Begum’s lawyers vowing to appeal the ruling, a legal expert warned the taxpayer would continue to receive a massive bill for legal aid costs.  

Paul Fulcher, who runs specialist firm Legal Costs Experts, has predicted the case could end up costing taxpayers more than £5million when all legal costs are accounted for. 

He told MailOnline today: ‘It’s going to go on. Her lawyers have come out and said they’re going to keep fighting. Ultimately they get paid win, lose or draw. 

‘The taxpayer has probably already paid out millions and it’s likely to be millions more. 

‘KCs can charge £5,000 a day, although legal aid doesn’t usually pay out at those rates. Then there’s the solicitors and a massive team behind them too. 

‘It’s going to keep racking up and racking up. It’s a golden egg. 

‘Ultimately at some point someone needs to call a halt to it so the taxpayer doesn’t keep having to pay out.’ 

The former East London schoolgirl gave an interview to GB News last year

The former East London schoolgirl gave an interview to GB News last year  

Begum on Sky News in 2019, when she said of ISIS: 'It was nice at first, like in the videos'

Begum on Sky News in 2019, when she said of ISIS: ‘It was nice at first, like in the videos’

Today’s ruling has been welcomed by the Government. 

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ‘My priority is, and always will be, the safety and security of the UK.

‘I am pleased with the decision from the court today, who have agreed with the Government’s position on every appeal ground.’

Shamima Begum Q&A: What does today’s ruling mean for her future and what are her options now?

What happened in court today? 

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) has refused to overturn former home secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to strip her of her British citizenship for fleeing the UK to join ISIS. 

Judges said that while there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ this was not enough for her appeal to succeed. 

Mr Justice Jay added that whether she posed a threat to national security was a decision for politicians, not the courts.  

What does it mean for Ms Begum?

The ruling means she will not have her British citizenship restored or be allowed to return to the UK. 

She will stay in the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, where she is effectively stateless after being rejected by both the UK and Bangladesh – where she also has a claim to citizenship. 

What do Ms Begum and her lawyers plan to do next? 

Ms Begum’s legal team will now challenge the judgment and seek to have it overturned in the Court of Appeal. Her lawyer Daniel Furner said the case was ‘nowhere near over’ and they would be challenging the ruling.

While he refused to give details about the basis for their appeal, it is likely to focus on their insistence she was a victim of child sex trafficking. 

Devyani Prabhat, a professor at the University of Bristol Law School, said the ruling in Shamima Begum’s case is ‘far from the end of the legal issues, as this will be followed by appeals and other proceedings by her team’, adding: ‘It only highlights the complexity of the issues and is one step in a long journey in Begum’s cancellation of citizenship proceedings.’

The ‘wide discretion’ given to home secretaries to deprive someone of their British citizenship on national security grounds makes it ‘quite difficult to challenge this, especially when there is evidence which is secret or not publicly available’, she said.

How has the Home Office reacted?

The Home Office have said they are ‘pleased’ by the judgment.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said: ‘We are pleased that the court has found in favour of the Government’s position in this case.

‘The Government’s priority remains maintaining the safety and security of the UK and we will robustly defend any decision made in doing so.’

What does this mean for other ISIS members who’ve been stripped of their citizenship?

Dozens of other former ISIS members have had their citizenship taken away after being accused of joining ISIS. These include Jack Letts, nicknamed ‘Jihadi Jack’. 

It is not clear today’s ruling will affect their cases because judges based their decision on factors specific to Ms Begum’s case. 

However, the Independent Reviewer on Terrorism Legislation, Jonathan Hall KC, said he believes Britons stranded in Syrian refugee camps would probably have to return at some point. 

‘I think that ultimately it’s going to be a political decision, I think that although it’s hard to predict, the camps will start to empty out,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One programme.  

‘I really don’t think the UK would want to find itself in a position where the Belgians for example have brought back all their women and children. If nothing else, it would create this sort of awful spectre of Britain’s Guantanamo. 

‘I’m sure it would be a propaganda coup for Britain’s enemies. So I can’t believe the UK is going to be a complete outlier… I think ultimately it will be a political decision. 

‘And you could say that if it’s going to happen, particularly with the children who are now growing up, in a way the sooner you do it the better.’

‘I welcome today’s court ruling, which has again upheld my decision to remove an individual’s citizenship on national security grounds,’ he said. 

‘This is a complex case but home secretaries should have the power to prevent anyone entering our country who is assessed to pose a threat to it.’

See also  British farmers face frightening pumpkin harvest in drought 

But the decision drew the ire of Ms Begum’s legal team, with her lawyer Gareth Peirce calling it ‘an extraordinary judgment delivered in an extraordinary way’.

Speaking outside Field House in central London, she added that the commission ‘is clearly deeply troubled by the case it is having to decide and by the limitations placed on it by the Supreme Court’.

She continued: ‘The implication, the outcome, that we face is that no British child who has been trafficked outside the UK will be protected by the British state if the home secretary invokes national security.’

Daniel Furner, also part of Ms Begum’s legal team, said the case was ‘nowhere near over’ and they would be challenging the ruling.

He said: ‘In terms of the legal fight, that’s nowhere near over, we’re not going into details about exactly what that means at this stage.

‘What else this judgment calls out for though is some courage and some leadership from the Home Secretary to look at this case afresh in light of the clear and compelling factual findings this court has made. We are going to challenge this decision.’   

But Sajid Javid, who was home secretary when Shamima Begum was first stripped of her British citizenship, lauded the decision. 

He said today: ‘I welcome today’s court ruling, which has again upheld my decision to remove an individual’s citizenship on national security grounds.

‘This is a complex case but home secretaries should have the power to prevent anyone entering our country who is assessed to pose a threat to it.’

At a five-day hearing last year, Ms Begum’s barristers Samantha Knights KC and Dan Squires KC said she was ‘recruited, transported, transferred, harboured and received in Syria for the purposes of “sexual exploitation” and “marriage” to an adult male’.

They also argued that the Home Office unlawfully failed to consider that she travelled to Syria and remained there ‘as a victim of child trafficking’.

However, Sir James Eadie KC, for the department, said the security services ‘continue to assess that Ms Begum poses a risk to national security’.

Sir James later said that Mr Javid took into account Ms Begum’s age, how she travelled to Syria – including likely online radicalisation – and her activity in the country, when deciding to remove her British citizenship.

Giving the decision of the tribunal, Mr Justice Jay said that ‘reasonable people will differ’ over the circumstances of Ms Begum’s case.

He said: ‘The commission has fully recognised the considerable force in the submissions advanced on behalf of Ms Begum that the Secretary of State’s conclusion, on expert advice, that Ms Begum travelled voluntarily to Syria is as stark as it is unsympathetic.

‘Further, there is some merit in the argument that those advising the Secretary of State see this as a black and white issue, when many would say that there are shades of grey.’

He continued: ‘If asked to evaluate all the circumstances of Ms Begum’s case, reasonable people with knowledge of all the relevant evidence will differ, in particular in relation to the issue of the extent to which her travel to Syria was voluntary and the weight to be given to that factor in the context of all others.

‘Likewise, reasonable people will differ as to the threat she posed in February 2019 to the national security of the United Kingdom, and as to how that threat should be balanced against all countervailing considerations.

‘However, under our constitutional settlement these sensitive issues are for the Secretary of State to evaluate and not for the commission.’

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission concluded there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ and that there were ‘arguable breaches of duty’ by state bodies in allowing her to travel to the country.

But Mr Justice Jay said in a summary of the commission’s decision that the existence of this suspicion was ‘insufficient’ for her to succeed on her arguments that the deprivation of her British citizenship failed to respect her human rights.

He added that given Ms Begum was now in Syria, the Home Secretary was not compelled to facilitate her return nor stopped from using ‘deprivation powers’.

The judge said: ‘The commission concluded that there was a credible suspicion that Ms Begum had been trafficked to Syria within the meaning of relevant international legal instruments. 

Ms Begum's British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by the former home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019

Ms Begum’s British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by the former home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019

Ms Begum's Dutch jihadi husband Yago Riedijk who fought for ISIS in Syria

Ms Begum’s Dutch jihadi husband Yago Riedijk who fought for ISIS in Syria 

Timeline: Shamima Begum’s dream of joining ISIS saw her exiled from the UK 

2015

  • February 17 – Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum leave their east London homes at 8am to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, from Gatwick Airport. Begum and Abase are reported missing by their families later the same day.
  • February 18 – Ms Sultana is reported missing to the police.
  • February 20 – The Metropolitan Police launch a public appeal for information on the missing girls who are feared to have gone on to Syria.  The Met expresses concerns that the missing girls may have fled to join ISIS. 
  • February 21 – Four days after the girls went missing, police believe they may still be in Turkey. 
  • February 22 – Ms Abase’s father Abase Hussen says his daughter told him she was going to a wedding on the day she disappeared. 
  • March 10 – It emerges that the girls funded their trip by stealing jewellery.

2016

  • August 2016 – Ms Sultana, then 17, is reported to have been killed in Raqqa in May when a suspected Russian air strike obliterates her house.

2019

  • February 13 – Ms Begum, then 19, tells Anthony Loyd of The Times that she wants to return to the UK to give birth to her third child.
  • Speaking from the Al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria, Ms Begum tells the paper: ‘I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here.’
  • February 15 – Home secretary Sajid Javid says he ‘will not hesitate’ to prevent the return of Britons who travelled to join IS.
  • February 17 – Ms Begum gives birth to her third child – a baby boy, Jarrah – in Al-Hawl. Her two other children, a daughter called Sarayah and a son called Jerah, have both previously died.
  • February 19 – The Home Office sends Ms Begum’s family a letter stating that it intends to revoke her British citizenship.
  • February 20 – Ms Begum, having been shown a copy of the Home Office’s letter by ITV News, describes the decision as ‘unjust’. 
  • February 22 – Ms Begum’s family write to Mr Javid asking for his help to bring her newborn son to Britain. Her sister Renu Begum, writing on behalf of the family, said the baby boy was a ‘true innocent’ who should not ‘lose the privilege of being raised in the safety of this country’.
  • Late February – Ms Begum is moved to the Al-Roj camp in north-eastern Syria, reportedly because of threats to her life made at Al-Hawl following the publication of her newspaper interviews.
  • March 7 – Jarrah dies around three weeks after he was born.
  • March 19 – Ms Begum’s lawyers file a legal action challenging the decision to revoke her citizenship.
  • April 1 – In a further interview with The Times, Ms Begum says she was ‘brainwashed’ and that she wants to ‘go back to the UK for a second chance to start my life over again’. 
  • May 4 – Bangladesh’s foreign minister Abdul Momen says Ms Begum could face the death penalty for involvement in terrorism if she goes to the country, adding that Bangladesh had ‘nothing to do’ with her.  
  • September 29 – Home secretary Priti Patel says there is ‘no way’ she will let Ms Begum return to the UK, adding: ‘We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.’ 
  • October 22-25 – Ms Begum’s appeal against the revocation of her British citizenship begins in London. Her barrister Tom Hickman submits the decision has unlawfully rendered her stateless, and exposed her to a ‘real risk’ of torture or death.
See also  Neighbours cast awaiting production start date and storyline details

2020 

  • February 7 – SIAC rules on Ms Begum’s legal challenge.
  • July 16 – Court of Appeal rules on the case and finds in Ms Begum’s favour.
  • November 23 – Supreme Court hears case. 

2021

  • February 26 – Supreme Court denies her right to enter UK to fight for British citizenship. 

2022

  • August 31 – The BBC trails its new ten-part podcast series, I’m Not A Monster: The Shamima Begum Story. 
  • November – At a five-day hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), Ms Begum’s lawyers argue she was a child trafficking victim. 

2023 

  • February 22 – Ms Begum loses her appeal against the bid to strip her of her British citizenship.  

‘Essentially, and from the perspective of those responsible for the trafficking, the motive for bringing her to Syria was sexual exploitation to which, as a child, she could not give a valid consent.

‘The commission also concluded that there were arguable breaches of duty on the part of various state bodies in permitting Ms Begum to leave the country as she did and eventually cross the border from Turkey into Syria.’

He added: ‘In outline, given that Ms Begum is now in Syria, the state’s corollary investigative duty did not compel the Secretary of State to facilitate her return to the United Kingdom, nor did it prevent him from exercising his deprivation powers.’

The judge said: ‘In short, the commission decided that a finding that Ms Begum has been trafficked does not operate as a form of limitation on the Secretary of State’s wide powers.’

They said today that the ruling has left ‘no protection for a British child trafficked out of the UK’.

In a statement, Ms Pierce and Mr Furner, from Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, said: ‘We, the lawyers entrusted with the representation of Ms Begum in circumstances of extreme difficulty, register our profound disagreement with the decision taken by the home secretary in 2019 and the diminution by the Supreme Court of the ability of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to consider her legal challenges.

‘The outcome is that there is now no protection for a British child trafficked out of the UK if the home secretary invokes national security.

‘Regrettably, this is a lost opportunity to put into reverse a profound mistake and a continuing injustice.

‘Ms Begum remains in unlawful, arbitrary and indefinite detention without trial in a Syrian camp. Every possible avenue to challenge this decision will be urgently pursued.

‘In our view, that demands the Secretary of State must carefully review the original decision in light of the commission’s troubling findings.’

Amnesty International called this morning’s decision ‘disappointing’. 

Steve Valdez-Symonds, the charity’s UK refugee and migrant rights director, said: ‘The Home Secretary shouldn’t be in the business of exiling British citizens by stripping them of their citizenship. 

‘The power to banish a citizen like this simply shouldn’t exist in the modern world, not least when we’re talking about a person who was seriously exploited as a child.

‘Shamima Begum had lived all her life in the UK right up to the point she was lured to Syria as an impressionable 15-year-old.

‘ISIS have been responsible for appalling crimes in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, but that doesn’t change that Shamima Begum is British and was groomed and trafficked to Syria.’ 

The Home Office have said they are ‘pleased’ by the judgment.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said: ‘We are pleased that the court has found in favour of the Government’s position in this case.

‘The Government’s priority remains maintaining the safety and security of the UK and we will robustly defend any decision made in doing so.’

Devyani Prabhat, a professor at the University of Bristol Law School, said the ruling in Ms Begum’s case is ‘far from the end of the legal issues, as this will be followed by appeals and other proceedings by her team’. 

She added: ‘It only highlights the complexity of the issues and is one step in a long journey in Begum’s cancellation of citizenship proceedings.’

The ‘wide discretion’ given to home secretaries to deprive someone of their British citizenship on national security grounds makes it ‘quite difficult to challenge this, especially when there is evidence which is secret or not publicly available’, she said. 

Before the judgment was delivered, Labour’s shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry argued she should have been returned to the UK to face justice.

She told Sky News: ‘On the face of it she’s clearly committed offences so she should be returned to the UK to face justice.

‘While it seems she can claim Bangladeshi citizenship she is currently stateless in a refugee settlement.’  

However, defence minister Johnny Mercer said he was confident judges will come to the ‘right conclusion’ over the appeal against the revocation of citizenship. 

In a round of interviews this morning, Mr Mercer said the question of whether Ms Begum should be allowed to return to the UK was ‘a decision for the Home Secretary and previous home secretaries’.

He added: ‘Certainly, Sajid Javid when he was home secretary made the decision to revoke her citizenship. That’s a decision for them.

‘Of course she clearly represents a threat. But there is a lot of information in that case that is not in the public domain.

‘I don’t think it is worth discussing it in public. I think those decisions are made in the courts and in the Home Office, and I’m sure they’ll come to the right conclusion.’

At a previous hearing in February 2020, SIAC ruled that the decision to remove her British citizenship was lawful as Ms Begum was ‘a citizen of Bangladesh by descent’ at the time of the decision. 

Begum escaping through Gatwick airport

A CCTV grab showing Begum fleeing the UK through Gatwick Airport in 2015 

Begum with her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana at Istanbul bus station

Begum with her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana at Istanbul bus station 

MI5 slams Ms Begum’s ‘self-serving PR efforts’  

Today’s legal judgment revealed MI5 assessed Ms Begum’s widespread media appearances as ‘self-serving’ PR attempts. She’s accepted a string of newspaper and broadcast interviews, and been the subject of a ten-part BBC podcast.  

The judgment read: ‘In September and November 2021, Ms Begum was interviewed by Good Morning Britain and Sky News. She denied reports in the media that she had sewn suicide vests or been part of ISIL’s [Isis] morality police and claimed that her activities were limited to being a housewife and mother.

‘The MI5 assessment is that many of the comments Ms Begum made in her later interviews are likely to have been self-serving and an attempt to obtain favourable media coverage in the run-up to this appeal.’

However, her barristers said in November that the decision made Ms Begum ‘de facto stateless’, where she had no practical right to citizenship in Bangladesh, with Bangladeshi authorities stating they would not allow her into the country.

Barristers for the Home Office defended the Government’s decision, arguing that people trafficked to Syria and brainwashed can still be threats to national security, adding that Ms Begum expressed no remorse when she initially emerged from IS-controlled territory.

Earlier this month, Ms Begum’s mother-in-law called for the runaway ISIS bride to be allowed back into the UK so she can rebuild her life.

Speaking for the first time, Ankie Riedijk, the mother of Begum’s jihadist husband Yago, insisted that while they should both face justice for travelling to Syria to join ISIS their governments must take responsibility for them becoming radicalised.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, she said: ‘I am convinced that Shamima should be allowed to go home and build her life there.’

In the first interview she has given since, like Begum, her Muslim convert son absconded to Syria – Mrs Riedijk set out what she thinks should happen to the daughter-in-law she has never met.

Standing on the doorstep of her smart, £180,000 end-of-terrace home in Arnhem, a quiet town in the Netherlands, Mrs Riedijk said that she and her husband Lex, a railway engineer, had always hitherto been reluctant to be drawn into the furore regarding Begum’s future. 

See also  Tennessee elementary school principal is fired by board for dragging autistic boy, 11, by his feet

However Mrs Riedijk believes Shamima, and her son Yago, should be brought back to their home countries.

Ms Begum in the grim surroundings of the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria last year

Ms Begum in the grim surroundings of the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria last year  

Shamima Begum: From straight-A London schoolgirl to stateless jihadi bride  

Ms Begum crossed into Syria with the help of a Canadian spy named Mohammed Al Rasheed, according to reports

Ms Begum crossed into Syria with the help of a Canadian spy named Mohammed Al Rasheed, according to reports

Shamima Begum was a London schoolgirl until Scotland Yard raised concerns she and two of her fellow pupils had travelled to Syria in February 2015.

The now 23-year-old was just 15 when she travelled to Istanbul in Turkey from Gatwick Airport to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) with her close friends at Bethnal Green Academy – Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15.

Despite her family’s warnings that Syria was a ‘dangerous place’, the then teenager, described as a ‘straight A student’, crossed the border just days later with the help of a Canadian spy named Mohammed Al Rasheed, according to reports.

In a BBC podcast series, she said she was told to ‘pack nice clothes so you can dress nicely for your husband’.

Just ten days after arriving in the city of Raqqa, Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, was married to a Dutchman named Yago Riedijk, who had converted to Islam.

They had three children together, who all later died from malnourishment or disease. They were a one-year-old girl, a three-month-old boy and newborn son.

Ms Begum pictured with a Union Flag cushion in 2020. It was the first time she was seen without her usual black burka

Ms Begum pictured with a Union Flag cushion in 2020. It was the first time she was seen without her usual black burka 

Ms Begum left Raqqa with her husband in January 2017, but they were eventually split up, as she claimed he was arrested for spying and tortured.

She was eventually found nine months pregnant in a refugee camp in Al-Hawl in February 2019 by a Times journalist.

Ms Begum told the reporter it ‘didn’t faze me at all’ when she saw her first ‘severed head’, but would ‘do anything required just to be able to come home’.

But the runaway schoolgirl said she did not regret travelling to IS-controlled Syria, saying she had a ‘good time’.

The former Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said Ms Begum could expect to be ‘spoken to’ if she returned to the UK.

In the same month, she was stripped of her British citizenship after announcing her desire to return to the UK with her then unborn third child.

The move was deemed only permissible under international law if it did not leave her stateless.

Since then, the former IS bride has been embroiled in a battle with the British legal system – she lost her latest legal challenge over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship on Wednesday.

Ms Begum described the initial move to revoke her citizenship as ‘unjust on me and my son’.

Sajid Javid said although he would never leave an individual stateless, his priority was the ‘safety and security’ of the UK.

Kadiza Sultana

Amira Abase

Kadiza Sultana – who was killed in an airstrike – and Amira Abase, whose whereabouts are unknown 

The then home secretary was criticised by Labour after Ms Begum’s son later died – with Diane Abbott describing the situation as ‘callous and inhumane’.

Ms Begum lost her first appeal to return to the UK but successfully challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal.

But the Government submitted a fresh appeal, meaning her return was put on hold pending a Supreme Court battle.

She was dealt a fresh blow when the Supreme Court ruled she could not come back to the UK – leading to her begging the British public for forgiveness.

When she appeared on TV screens in September 2021, she had drastically changed her appearance – wearing a Nike baseball cap, a grey vest, Casio watch and with her fingernails painted pink.

Ms Begum said there was ‘no evidence’ she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts and was prepared to prove her innocence in court.

She denied her Western physical appearance on Good Morning Britain – in stark contrast to the traditional Islamic dress she previously adorned – was a publicity stunt.

In the BBC podcast series released last month, she said she understood public anger towards her, but insisted she is not a ‘bad person’.

She told the podcast she accepted she is viewed ‘as a danger, as a risk’, but blamed her portrayal in the media.

Who are the lawyers defending Shamima Begum?  

Daniel Furner 

Daniel Furner is the lead lawyer defending Shamima Begum, who was stripped of her British citizenship after fleeing to Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join the terrorist group ISIS

Daniel Furner is the lead lawyer defending Shamima Begum, who was stripped of her British citizenship after fleeing to Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join the terrorist group ISIS

Daniel Furner is the lead lawyer defending Shamima Begum, who was stripped of her British citizenship after fleeing to Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join the terrorist group ISIS. 

Mr Furner is a senior solicitor at the London-based firm Birnberg Pierce and Partners, where he specialises in immigration and asylum law. 

He previously worked as a campaign coordinator for Amnesty International in New Zealand. 

He studied to become a lawyer at Victoria University of Wellington, also in New Zealand, before moving to work as a solicitor in the UK. 

He once told the Times that he hated ‘every moment’ of his training to become a lawyer and was ‘determined not to practice it’.

He is a staunch defender of legal aid and believes it should be seen as a vital public service that must be funded accordingly. 

Mr Furner also told the Times that he does not care how he will be remembered, ‘as long as my kids think I was a good dad.’ 

Gareth Pierce

Gareth Peirce, once described as the lawyer of choice 'for every accused jihadist and IRA suspect', took on the case back in April 2019

Gareth Peirce, once described as the lawyer of choice ‘for every accused jihadist and IRA suspect’, took on the case back in April 2019

Shamima Begum is also being represented by one of the UK’s top human rights lawyers whose past clients include hate preacher Abu Qatada.

Gareth Peirce, once described as the lawyer of choice ‘for every accused jihadist and IRA suspect’, took on the case back in April 2019.

She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Oxford University, and also represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his battle against extradition to the US.

The solicitor made her name representing the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four – two groups of Irishmen falsely convicted of IRA bombings in UK pubs in 1974.

Ms Peirce was played by Emma Thompson in 1993 film In The Name of the Father, which was based on the story of the Guildford Four.

She also represented Judith Ward, who was wrongfully convicted of the M62 coach bombing.

Other clients included Moazzam Begg, who was held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly three years, and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.

The Brazilian electrician was mistaken for an Islamist terrorist and shot dead by police at Stockwell Tube station in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

In Qatada’s case, she was said to have pulled off a breathtaking coup by filing an eleventh-hour appeal to Europe on behalf of her widely demonised client in 2012.

The move wrong-footed Theresa May, then Home Secretary, and delayed the fanatic’s deportation to Jordan.

He was eventually kicked out of Britain the following year.

Tasnime Akunjee

Tasnime Akunjee is a solicitor who has long been linked to Shamima Begum's plea to return to the UK

Tasnime Akunjee is a solicitor who has long been linked to Shamima Begum’s plea to return to the UK

Tasnime Akunjee is a solicitor who has long been linked to Shamima Begum’s plea to return to the UK.

Mr Akunjee first appeared in the public eye when he represented the families of three girls who fled to join IS in Syria in 2015.

He’s been in the industry, specialising in the field of terror related offences, since 1999 and has experience both in the UK and abroad.

He told MailOnline he’s not involved in Ms Begum’s current British citizenship appeal. 

[ad_2]

Source link