Saturday 9 March 2019

IS Bride Shamima Begum's Baby Boy Has Died, SDF Confirms

According to ITV, the baby of Islamic State bride Shamima Begum has died, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have confirmed to ITV News. 
The boy, named Jarrah, died on Thursday after suffering breathing difficulties and a lung infection.
Jarrah was taken to a doctor in the refugee camp where he and his mother were living, and was then transferred to a hospital where he later died.

Ms Begum, 19, gave birth to her son in Al-Hol refugee camp in the middle of February, having already lost two children.
The teenager's IS fighter husband, Yago Riedijk, 27, is being held in a Kurdish-run detention centre in northern Syria.

Ms Begum and her baby had been held in Al-Hol after fleeing the town of Baghouz, the last remaining area held by so-called Islamic State as the caliphate crumbles.

However, last week it was reported that Ms Begum and Jarrah had been moved from the camp in the north of Syria to another closer to the Iraqi border after the pair were "threatened" by others in the camp, her family's lawyer said.

After giving numerous interviews to UK media following her discovery in Al-Hol by a journalist from The Times, Ms Begum said she regretted speaking to the media and wished she had kept a low profile.

It was reported that Ms Begum was moved to a different camp as she had received death threats from others in Al-Hol after speaking out about her plight.

The SDF is an alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias who are fighting to get rid of the last vestiges of so-called Islamic State's caliphate.
Ms Begum was 15 when in February 2015, she and two school friends - Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 - ran away from home in Bethnal Green, east London to join so-called Islamic State.

The three girls travelled to Turkey before crossing the border into Syria.
She resurfaced heavily-pregnant in a refugee camp in northern Syria last month and spoke of her desire to return to the UK, as the self-styled caliphate collapsed.

On February 17, her family announced the boy's birth and said they believed he was "in good health".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Ms Begum of her British citizenship amid a fierce national debate over whether she should be allowed to return.

Her family, who pledged to appeal against the decision, also wrote to Mr Javid pleading with him to allow a safe passage for the boy to come to the UK.
Last month, Mr Javid confirmed the boy was a British citizen and said he had considered the child's interest when deciding to revoke Ms Begum's citizenship.

Asked at the time 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.

"If it is possible somehow for a British child to be brought to a place where there is a British consular presence, the closest place - it might be Turkey for example - in those circumstances I guess potentially it is possible to arrange for some sort of help with the consent of the parent," he added.

"Inside Syria, whether in a camp or maybe somewhere else, there is no British consular presence."

Responding to the news of the death of Ms Begum's son, the Home Office said: “The death of any child is tragic and deeply distressing for the family.
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has consistently advised against travel to Syria since April 2011.

“The Government will continue to do whatever we can to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and travelling to dangerous conflict zones.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott criticised Mr Javid's decision to revoke Ms Begum's citizenship, tweeting: "It is against international law to make someone stateless, and now an innocent child has died as a result of a British woman being stripped of her citizenship. 
"This is callous and inhumane."


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