Shamima Begum cannot return to the UK to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship, the Supreme Court has ruled. Here is why this decision is wrong.

Ms Begum was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) in February 2015.

Her British citizenship was revoked and Ms Begum, now 21, challenged the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship and wanted to be allowed to return to the UK to pursue her appeal.

On Friday, the UK’s highest court ruled that Ms Begum should not be granted leave to enter the UK to pursue her appeal against the deprivation of her British citizenship.

First of all she was groomed as a child starting at the age of 13 and naively fled to Syria with her two friends aged only 15.

Moreover this indeed raises further questions and one which no one has been willing to ask.

If a white, teenaged British girl had made the same mistake and joined a terror group, would she have her citizenship revoked after showing remorse for running away and joining a terrorist organisation?

If a child was groomed, abused and manipulated, would we blame the child or her abusers?

Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that the most just way forward was to allow Shamima into the UK as she could not appeal against the decision from the camp in Syria.

Begum was born and raised in the London area of Bethnal Green to Bangladeshi parents. In 2015 she left the UK with her two friends, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultan and travelled to the Syrian city of Raqqa via Turkey where she married a Dutch fighter, Yago Riedijk, while still a child. She lived under ISIS rule for more than three years and lost three children due to harsh conditions.

She said in an interview that the Islamic State did not deserve victory because of their corruption and oppression. She has repeatedly asked for forgiveness and was never involved in acts of terror.

Yes, she made a grave mistake, for which she has paid dearly and continues to do so. Yes she should face the full force of the law for joining a terror group, but in the UK, not in Syria living as a stateless refugee in the squalor of a camp controlled by armed guards. What threat does a frail, traumatised 21 year old pose?

She was found, heavily pregnant and mourning the loss of two children in early 2019, four years after fleeing to Syria from Bethnal Green, London. She had her passport revoked on national security grounds by Sajid Javid, the then foreign secretary. It was argued that she would not be made stateless –which is illegal under international law - as she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship.

The Bangladeshi government however, stated that they would not allow her into the country and that she does not hold Bangladeshi citizenship through descent.

Although I do not agree with her decision to leave the UK to join ISIS. I see her as a vulnerable victim who wants to atone for her mistakes.