A London school girl who travelled to Syria to join Daesh (Islamic State) now wants to return home to argue she was a victim of statutory rape, it was reported on Tuesday (22).
Shamima Begum, who left the UK when she was 15, could claim she was subjected to statutory rape by her Daesh fighter husband Yago Riedijk, her lawyer has claimed. Begum hopes to testify at a hearing on whether her British citizenship could be restored.
Tasnime Akunjee, Begum’s lawyer, told the Daily Mirror that the teen was married in an Daesh ceremony within two weeks of reaching Syria to a 23-year-old fighter.
“Her context is as a rape victim or a statutory rape victim.”
Today, a specialist court that hears challenges to decisions to remove someone’s British citizenship will begin a four-day preliminary hearing in London.
Meanwhile, a counter terror expert has said that Begum’s show of remorse was only to return to the UK.
Chris Phillips told Good Morning Britain: “She’s not 15 now, she’s 19.
“She had full and frank knowledge of what she was doing. She was fully committed in the murders or the group who carried out the murders.
“She is only showing remorse as she wants to come back. She won’t be sentenced as there’s no evidence that she was involved so she won’t face trial.
“She’s 15 and lived in the east end of London she knew what she was doing.”
The Home Office revoked Begum’s British citizenship in February this year. At the time it was speculated that she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship through her parentage. But Bangladesh’s minister of state for foreign affairs has denied this.
Just last month, home secretary Priti Patel told The Sun that Begum would not be allowed to return to the UK.
Patel told the paper: “Our job is to keep our country safe.
“We don’t need people who have done harm and left our country to be part of a death cult and to perpetrate that ideology.
“We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.
‘Everything I see in terms of security and intelligence, I am simply not willing to allow anybody who has been an active supporter or campaigner for IS in this country.”