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Shamima Begum has a right to British citizenship, whether you like it or not

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21.02.2019

When I was 16 I stopped off in Holland, during a camping holiday with a friend. We bought as much marijuana as we could and smoked it all in an afternoon. Sat behind a housing estate in the border town of Nijmegen, we giggled, rambled and lay around until the local police came. They took us back to the campsite (we found the fact that they spoke Dutch hilarious), where we were asked for our passports and train tickets. They already had our number: a couple of idiots out of their minds and out of their depth. They told us to get on the next train in the direction of the port. We’d stopped laughing by then. We went home.

Adolescents do stupid things. Often they know they are stupid at the time. But what’s stupid is often also exhilarating, particularly when the consequences are either not known or have not even been fully considered.

Shamima Begum, from Bethnal Green in London’s East End, did something extraordinarily stupid and extremely dangerous when she was 15. She, and two girl friends from school, told their parents they were going out for the day, and went to Turkey and joined Islamic State instead. Shamima lived in Raqqa, married a Dutch convert, had two children, both of whom died, and got pregnant with a third. She left Raqqa when it fell, saw her husband surrender to Syrian fighters and now sits in a refugee camp with her newborn son. Still only 19, Begum says she wants to come home to Britain. The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revoked her citizenship. He has said she cannot come home because she is no longer British and that she should instead go to Bangladesh, where her parents are from. She has never been there; Bangladesh says it won’t take her.

A couple of weeks earlier Javid successfully deported several people to a country many did not know, according to David Lammy MP. A plane to Jamaica chartered by the Home Office........

© The Guardian