By Laura Kemp • 18 June 2021 • 17:45
Shamima Begum Lawyers Claim She Was "Victim Of Trafficking". image: Twitter
Lawyers representing the schoolgirl from east London claim that there is “overwhelming evidence” that she was trafficked for the “purpose of sexual exploitation and forced marriage”.
Begum, 21, is hoping to overturn the decision to remove her British citizenship, a specialist tribunal – known as the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) – is considering the case.
Begum was 15-years-old when she and two other schoolgirls flew over to Syria to become part of the Islamic State group in February 2015.
She had her British citizenship revoked on the grounds of national security when she was found in a Syrian refugee camp four years later. She was also nine months pregnant.
Samantha Knights QC said: “the counter-terrorism unit had suspicions of coercion and control” when Ms Begum left the UK, which she argued “gives rise to the need to investigate the issue of trafficking”.
She added: “Ms Begum…is in a fundamentally unsafe environment in a camp run by the SDF. Physical violence is common and psychological trauma is endemic.”
Representative of the Home Office, David Blundell QC, argued: “Ms Begum should not be permitted to amend her grounds again.”
He said in written statements: “It is significant that the allegation is not that Ms Begum was trafficked, but rather that she ‘may have been’ trafficked,”
“Ms Begum herself has never stated that she has been trafficked, despite having given numerous media interviews and provided instructions to her solicitors on a number of matters.
The absence of a claim that she has in fact been trafficked means this ground proceeds on an uncertain factual basis. It is entirely speculative.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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