IS bride Shamima has fled Syrian camp: Lawyer
Published : Saturday, 2 March, 2019 at 9:22 AM Count : 176
Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old Briton who married an Islamic State fighter four years ago and recently asked to be allowed to return home, has been forced to move from her place in a Syrian refugee camp with her newborn after receiving threats, her family’s lawyer said Friday.
British media outlets reported that Begum may have been moved to another refugee camp closer to the border with Iraq. But in a phone call on Friday afternoon, the lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said: “We don’t know where she has been moved to. We don’t know if it’s within the camp or to another one.”
The new development adds to the uncertainty surrounding a case that has split opinion in Britain. Some Britons have said that Begum was so young when she left to join the extremists that she deserves a chance at rehabilitation. Others have called for her never to be allowed back in Britain again.
The British newspaper The Sun was the first to report the threats against Begum in Al Hawl refugee camp in northeastern Syria, where she fled to several weeks ago from the last remaining village held by the Islamic State in Syria.
She later told a reporter that she wanted to return home to East London. Since then, she has been in limbo.
The British government told her family it intended to revoke her citizenship, a move that appeared to rest on shaky legal footing and drew condemnation from some Labour and Conservative members of Parliament.
Begum had given birth to her baby boy in Al Hawl refugee camp. She left Britain at age 15 to join the Islamic State, and soon married a Dutch fighter.
The Sun on Thursday quoted Akunjee as saying: “I can confirm that it is our understanding that Shamima has been moved from Al Hawl due to safety concerns around her and her baby. We further understand that indeed she and her child had been threatened by others at the Al Hawl camp.”
The nature of the threats was not clear. The Sun suggested she had been threatened partly because she had been improperly veiled and had shown her face in televised interviews.
“I’ve been getting death threats, and I’m only the family’s lawyer,” Akunjee said Friday. “Imagine what she must be involved with.”
He said he was working on flying to Syria to try to meet with the teenager.
The New York Times/TF