Shamima Begum: British Isis bride could be hanged in Bangladesh, minister says
Isis bride Shamima Begum could be hanged for terrorism offences if she goes to Bangladesh, the country’s foreign minister has declared.
The 19-year-old – who left the UK to join Isis in Syria in 2015 – was stripped of her British citizenship by the home secretary, Sajid Javid, in February.
It is believed he felt legally able to do so because, although international law prevents someone being made stateless, Ms Begum has heritage rights of citizenship in Bangladesh where her father is from.
Now the Asian country’s minister for foreign affairs, Abdul Momen, has said the teenager – who is currently living in the al-Hol desert refugee camp in Syria – would face the death penalty if she ended up there.
“We have nothing to do with Shamima Begum,” he told ITV News. “She is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She never applied for Bangladesh citizenship. She was born in England and her mother is British.”
But he added: “If anyone is found to be involved with terrorism, we have a simple rule. There will be capital punishment. And nothing else.
“She will be put in prison and immediately, the rule is, she should be hanged.”
Ms Begum ran away from her London home as a 15-year-old schoolgirl after reading about Isis online. She was one of three friends to do so. The other two are believed to have died in Syria.
Since the terror cult’s collapse last year, the teenager – who has had three children who all died in Syria – has been living in refugee camps. She has expressed her wish to return to the UK.
Dr Momen compared the British government’s refusal to take her back to the treatment of the Rohingya people by the Burmese authorities.
Bangladesh is currently hosting an estimated 1.1 million Rohingya refugees after they fled over the border to escape persecution in their native country.
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“When they’re being persecuted and killed, we open our doors to save humanity,” said Dr Momen.
The British government has not responded to the comments.