Jeremy Corbyn says Shamima Begum should receive state legal aid

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 17, 2019

A woman who had her British citizenship revoked after she left the United Kingdom to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) is receiving legal aid for her ongoing battle to return home, local reports have said.

The 19-year-old, who was stripped of her citizenship in February, will be given financial assistance from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), a government agency, according to a report in the Daily Mail published on Monday (April 15).

Now 19, Begum resurfaced when she told journalists earlier this year that she wanted to return home - the United Kingdom responded by revoking her citizenship. The couple had three children, all of whom died in infancy. She gave birth days later and her child later died - the third to of her children to die as an infant. Home Secretary Javid, who asserted that he would do "everything" in his power to block British Daesh fighters and their brides from returning to the United Kingdom promptly stripped Miss Begum of her citizenship, saying that she could claim Bangladeshi citizenship due to her mother's origins in that country. Both the Netherlands and Bangladesh have since denied that Begum would have a right to enter either country. Being made stateless is prohibited under worldwide law. Under the 1981 British Nationality Act, a person can be deprived of their citizenship if the Home Secretary is satisfied it would be "conducive to the public good" and they would not become stateless as a result.

Former Met Police Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, who knows the Ms Begum's family, told BBC Breakfast Live this morning he did not know if legal aid had been granted, and the family did not want to discus specific issued about Legal Aid.

The families of the four soldiers killed in the 1982 atrocity were denied legal aid to sue IRA terrorist John Downey, whose trial for the murders collapsed due to blunders by police and civil servants. Legal aid is financial assistance, funded by the taxpayer, for those who can not afford legal representation.

Tasnime Akunjee, who has represented the Begum family since 2015, has filed an appeal for her with the UK's Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

Begum maintains that she was just a housewife during her tenure with IS, a claim that was backed up by her husband, a Dutch IS fighter.

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"Citizenship stripping is one of the most severe punishments a government can exercise", wrote human rights advocacy group Liberty on Twitter. She has joined a terrorist organisation and left the country and she gets legal aid'.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed that Begum, now 19, who fled Britain to join the sick ISIS cult served in the Islamic State's "morality police".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt supported Corbyn, saying, "On a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices".

The author of The Secret Barrister blog, a junior barrister in criminal law, said that while Begum may not deserve sympathy, "she is entitled to legal aid".

Begum's Family Launch Legal Bid To Challenge Home Office DecisionA refugee camp near the Syrian border at Suruç, Turkey. "This is because they typically involve a complex combination of MI5 intelligence reports, which can not be disclosed to the complainant, and long-standing law on achieving a fair hearing".

It is not yet clear when the case will be heard but the Siac process can take years to complete - and granting of legal aid in these circumstances is not unusual.

It is means-tested and availability has been cut back significantly in recent years.

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