The story of Shamima Begum, a 15-year-old trafficked victim after fleeing Britain for ISIS

The story of Shamima Begum, a 15-year-old trafficked victim after fleeing Britain for ISIS

Shamima Begum left London when she was 15 to go to Syria. There, according to her lawyers, she would have been a victim of sex trafficking managed by Isis. The UK Home Office said it had never found evidence of what she alleged.

The young woman would have gone to Syria in 2015 together with two other schoolmates. Here she was allegedly married to a 23-year-old Dutch jihadist. After being raped, she gave birth to three children who died a short time later. Britain revoked her citizenship in 2019, years after she was removed from the country, claiming the teenager left “voluntarily”. According to the government, it is a measure taken for “national security”.

The girl, 9 months pregnant, was found in February 2019 in a Syrian refugee camp. According to the young woman’s lawyers, the government has never investigated or “considered” the hypothesis that she might have been trafficked by ISIS. “This girl – explained the lawyer James Eadie KC who is handling the case – was the victim of an effective propaganda machine. Isis cynically recruited little girls to offer them in marriage to adult men. This is a failure of the authorities of the United Kingdom”.

According to the British Home Office, however, Begum cannot return to the country because “he is still a risk to national security.” – “This is not a security case – commented James Eadie KC – but a case of human trafficking.”

The matter was brought to court and on Friday the judges are called to decide on the reintroduction of the girl in Great Britain. The ruling, however, could be made public a few weeks late. “Begum said that she immediately regretted having left the country – the lawyer reiterated – and that she only later realized the nature of the group she had joined.”