Nineteen-year-old Briton and newborn son relocated to new camp due to ‘safety concerns’
Shamima Begum and her baby have been moved from a Syrian refugee camp after threats were made against them, according to her family’s lawyer, The Guardian reports.
The 19-year-old and her son were moved from the al-Hawl camp in the north of the country to another site nearer the Iraqi border.
Begum, who left the UK in 2015 with two school friends to join Islamic State in Syria, said last month she wanted to return home for the health of her then unborn child. The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has ordered the British-born woman’s citizenship to be revoked.
Begum, who gave birth days after telling a Times journalist of her wish to return, has since said she wished she had kept a low profile.
The Sun reported on Friday that Begum had received death threats since speaking out about her plight. She and her son are said to have been moved to another camp nearer the Iraqi border.
Begum’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, told the paper: “I can confirm that it is our understanding that Shamima has been moved from al-Hawl due to safety concerns around her and her baby. We further understand that indeed she and her child had been threatened by others at the al-Hawl camp.”
Akunjee told the Guardian he was preparing to fly out to meet Begum so she could sign appeal forms from the Home Office.
“We don’t want to waste time trying to work for her remotely,” he said. “She needs a lawyer and we need her to sign these forms so that we can begin the appeals process. We know she is in a camp but not her exact location, so we are trying to find this out at the moment from people on the ground.”
Her family have pleaded for the pair to be allowed to return home. They say the teenager should face justice if she is found to have broken the law by travelling to Syria. British officials, however, have ruled out any effort to extract Begum and her child from Syria.
A shooting range in Wirral, north-west England, defended its use of Begum’s image as a target earlier this week, saying it had received a large number of requests from customers.