Lawyers fight for Islamic State bride Shamima Begum's UK citizenship to be restored

Lawyers for Islamic State bride Shamima Begum believe her British citizenship should be restored, arguing she didn't have a "fair and effective means" of challenging the ruling.

Begum received international attention in 2015 after leaving the United Kingdom at the age of 15 to join IS. Last year, while living in a Syrian refugee camp, Begum pleaded with British officials to allow her to return home to have a child, but Home Secretary Sajid Javid instead revoked her citizenship.

After she appealed the decision, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled in February that Javid's decision would stand. 

One of the reasons for the appeal was that by revoking her citizenship, the British Government had made Begum stateless, which is not allowed under international law. However, it has been reported Begum's parents were of Bangladeshi origins so she could obtain a Bangladeshi passport. The Bangladeshi Government said at the time that Begum would not be allowed into the country, which she has never visited, while lawyers said Begum could be hanged if she was forced to go to the country.

On Friday, Begum's lawyers took her case to the Court of Appeal, where they suggested Begum didn't have "a fair or effective means of challenging the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship" because she wasn't able to be back in the UK to fight her case. 

"It is a basic principle of our law that executive decisions cannot stand where the requirements of natural justice are not complied with," said Tom Hickman.

According to The Guardian, human rights organisation Liberty intervened to "uphold the right to a fair trial in the increasing use of 'citizenship stripping' by the Home Office".

"Banishing someone is not the act of a responsible government … [It] has other powers at its disposal, including criminal law, which it can and should use to deal with those suspected of terrorism," lawyer Katie Lines said.

"Due process and the right to a fair trial is not a privilege to be handed out when the government sees fit. Ensuring we are all equal before the law is a principle that protects all of us."

But the Home Office's lawyer Sir James Eadie said the fact Begum couldn't engage with the appeal procedure was a result of her decision to leave the United Kingdom and "align" with IS. He said throughout it all Begum could speak to her lawyers.

In February, Begum said she felt like her "whole work fell apart right in front of me" when her citizenship got rejected. 

"I kind of saw it coming because I did do my research just before I came out. I thought I would be a bit different because I had not done anything wrong before I came to ISIS."

In September, Begum said she now hated IS and was "constantly making babies" while with them. She said she had mental health issues and again called for Britain to allow her to return. Current Home Secretary Priti Patel responded by saying there was "no way, no way" the woman could return.

A Sky News poll found 78 percent of people supported the decision to revoke Begum's citizenship.