Speaking from a refugee camp in Syria, the 19-year-old told CNN affiliate ITV
that it was “kind of heartbreaking to read” a copy of the Home Office letter sent to her parents informing them of its decision.
Begum, who gave birth over the weekend and is seeking a return to Britain, called the move “hard to swallow” and described it as “a bit unjust on me and my son.”
ITV News reported Tuesday that Begum’s mother had received a letter from the Home Office which said an order to remove her citizenship had been made. The letter asked Begum’s family to make her aware of the decision and of her right to appeal.
The decision has sparked a debate about the legality behind it. A spokesman for the Home Office told CNN that the Home Secretary can deprive someone of their British citizenship “where it would not render the individual stateless.”
Begum’s family is of Bangladeshi origin, according to former chief superintendent for the Metropolitan Police, Dal Bab, who has been in contact with the family. However the Bangladesh foreign ministry said in a statement that Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen, nor has she ever visited the country. “The Government of Bangladesh is deeply concerned that she has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship shared with Bangladesh alongside her birthplace, the United Kingdom,” the statement said.
“She is a British citizen by birth and has never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh … There is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid suggested to Parliament on Wednesday that children of jihadists who lose their citizenship could still be British.
“Children should not suffer, so if a parent does lose their British citizenship, it does not affect the rights of their child,” he said. Earlier this week, he said the UK had revoked citizenship from more than 100 people.