Friday, December 9, 2022

Latest Posts

The government “did not assess” whether Shamima Begum was human trafficking

The UK government did not formally investigate whether Shamima Begum was a victim of human trafficking before exiling her “for life,” a court has heard.

Lawyers representing the 23-year-old, who traveled to Syria to join Isis when she was 15, argue she was “groomed” to have sex with adult combatants and give birth to their children.

Ms Begum’s first two children died as infants and the third, born shortly after she was found in a detention center in 2019, died aged less than three weeks.

In the final stages of Ms Begum’s battle against the decision to revoke her British citizenship, lawyers at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission said no proper assessments had been made.

Then Home Secretary Sajid Javid was accused of acting with “extreme speed” by stripping her of her citizenship four days later The times published an interview with Ms. Begum in a detention center.

Samantha Knights KC, on behalf of Ms Begum, said: “This case concerns a British child aged 15 who was persuaded, influenced and influenced by a determined and effective Isis propaganda machine with her friends.”

She told the hearing on Monday that Mr Javid decided in February 2019 to remove her citizenship in an “extraordinary manner” involving “inadequate and hasty steps.” [to put her] practically for life in exile”.

In written submissions, Ms Knights said there was “overwhelming” evidence that Ms Begum “was recruited, transported, transferred, harbored and taken in for the purpose of ‘sexual exploitation’ and ‘marriage’ with an adult male in Syria”.

The document said the government confirmed that a man named Mohammed al-Rashed transported Ms. Begum and two school friends across the Turkish-Syrian border on February 20, 2015.

A book by Richard Kerbaj claimed he passed information to Canadian intelligence services at the time, but the UK has not confirmed the claim or whether any information was passed to British authorities before Ms Begum reached Syria.

Lawyers for the Home Office said there was no error of law in Mr Javid’s decision and that the government did not accept the trafficking of Ms Begum.

However, a senior official who testified at the hearing said that no formal human trafficking assessment had been carried out because it was outside the jurisdiction of the UK.

Philip Larkin, Deputy Head of Special Cases at Homeland Security Group, said: “No formal assessment or conclusion on human trafficking was reached, but the circumstances and factors which Ms Begum’s representatives would consider relevant were in the Home Secretary’s advice and part of his reflections.”

He said Mr Javid “will have commented on the circumstances of her departure from the UK and what has happened over the past four years”.

Sir James Eadie KC, for the Home Office, said in written submissions that the security services “continue to assess that Ms Begum poses a risk to national security”.

“This is about national security,” he said, later adding, “This is not about human trafficking.”

A summary of an MI5 assessment was presented to the court showing Ms Begum had traveled to join Isis and had “allied” with the group.

Sir James argued that she only left his territory for security reasons when the so-called caliphate fell, and that press interviews after she was discovered at al-Hol camp “expressed no remorse”.

Ms Begum also challenged the withdrawal of her British citizenship on the grounds that it left her “de facto stateless” and that the decision was predetermined.

The hearing before Mr Justice Jay is due to end on Friday and a decision will be made at a later date.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss