Here is one way to deal with the Shemima Begum issue – do you agree?

“In 2015, a British schoolgirl travels to join Daesh. In 2019 the individual tries to flee Daesh-held territory with her newborn baby from a Syrian refugee camp where she is eventually formally detained.

Following the mother’s detention, the British authorities are notified. DNA testing of the child is conducted to establish their entitlement to a British passport.

Given that the mother has lived in Daesh-held territory, the Home Secretary and a judge approve the use of a Temporary Exclusion Order (TEO) to manage her return to the UK. The TEO allows us to specify the route of return to the UK and to impose obligations upon the individual once they return to help protect members of the public from a risk of terrorism.

The mother and her child are subsequently deported to the UK from Turkey via the route specified by the TEO.

On arrival in the UK, the police launch an investigation into the woman’s activities in Syria to determine whether any crimes have been committed.

If there is evidence that a crime has been committed then the mother will be charged and the Crown Prosecution Service will conduct criminal proceedings. If there is no evidence of criminality, the mother is assisted in reintegrating into society, for example, by requiring her to attend a series of sessions with a specially trained de-radicalisation mentor.

In the meantime, the mother is also obliged – as part of her TEO – to report regularly to a police station and to notify the Home Office of any change of address.

The local authority is involved to ensure that the child is not at immediate risk and appropriate measures are put in place to help safeguard the child’s welfare.”

LW Comment

Do you agree with this? The right thing to do or not? Either way nowhere is there any mention of stripping the woman of her citizenship.

The reason we ask is that the scenario is copied from the Syria returners illustrative example on page 50 of the United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism published in June 2018, CONTEST 3.0.

Or government policy as it is called.

LW only changed a few words in the first paragraph. The original reads “In 2015, a British woman travels to join Daesh. In 2017 the individual flees Daesh-held territory with a new born baby and they make their way to Turkey. On arrival in Turkey the mother and the child are detained for entering the country illegally.”

Many thanks to Gary Younge of The Guardian from bringing this to our attention in his article ‘Shamima Begum has a right to British citizenship, whether you like it or not’.


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