Bangladesh says ISIS teenager Shamima Begum not eligible for citizenship

A statement by Bangladesh's foreign ministry said that despite her parental lineage, Shamima Begum has no claim to Bangladeshi nationality and is a British citizen by birth.
A statement by Bangladesh's foreign ministry said that despite her parental lineage, Shamima Begum has no claim to Bangladeshi nationality and is a British citizen by birth.PHOTO: AFP

DHAKA (AFP) - A British teen who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has no claim to Bangladeshi nationality, Dhaka's foreign ministry said Wednesday (Feb 20), after the British government decided to revoke her citizenship.

Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria in 2015 and now wants to return to Britain after giving birth in a refugee camp in Syria last week, was stripped of her British citizenship on Tuesday.

The British Home Office reportedly believed that Begum was entitled to claim citizenship in Bangladesh - a claim disputed by the South Asian country.

"Bangladesh asserts that Ms Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She is a British citizen by birth and has never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh," the Bangladesh foreign ministry said in a statement.

"It may also be mentioned that she never visited Bangladesh in the past despite her parental lineage. So, there is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh," it added.

Mr Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Begum's family, earlier said the teen was born in Britain and had never had a Bangladeshi passport.