Published: Sat, March 09, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Shamima Begum: Syrian forces deny reports IS bride's baby has died

Shamima Begum: Syrian forces deny reports IS bride's baby has died

The baby son of Shamima Begum, a teenager who fled the United Kingdom to join Islamic State in Syria, may have died, according to her family's lawyer.

The Begum family's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said he had received confirmation that the child, who was only a few weeks old, had died and that Begum's relatives were devastated upon hearing the news.

The 19-year-old travelled to Syria from the United Kingdom with two of her friends in 2015 to join the terror group in Raqqa.

She resurfaced heavily-pregnant in a refugee camp in northern Syria last month and spoke of her desire to return to the United Kingdom, as the self-styled caliphate collapsed. She told reporters at the time that she had already lost two babies - one to malnutrition and another to ill-health - during her time with ISIS and pleaded with the United Kingdom government to allow her and her new-born baby to return to the Britain.

Last week, Mr Akunjee told The National that the teenager had left the Al Hawl camp in northern Syria with her baby after threats had been made against them.

Mr Avid previously said that the revocation of Ms Begum's citizenship would not apply to her son, saying: "Children should not suffer, so if a parent does lose their British citizenship it does not affect the rights of their child".

Euronews has contacted the family lawyer and officials for more information.

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Asked whether there was any plan for Ms Begum's son, Mr Javid told the Commons Home Affairs Committee it would be "incredibly difficult" for the Government to facilitate the return of a child from Syria.

Javid previously confirmed the baby was a British citizen and said he had considered the child's interest when deciding to revoke Begum's citizenship.

Her Dutch jihadi husband Yago Riedijk, who is in a Kurdish-run detention centre, said last week he wanted to return to the Netherlands with Ms Begum and their son. "These matters should be investigated", the 60-year-old said, urging the United Kingdom to allow his daughter to return and face the British legal system.

She sparked a huge debate in the United Kingdom over whether she should be allowed back.

He said that the family had wanted to establish communications with Begum to find out what happened to her baby, adding: "This innocent baby was let down".

The FRO is obliged to consider requests for consular assistance, the letter added.

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