Shamima Begum ‘wants to return to Britain to argue in court she was raped’

Shamima Begum (above) wants to return to the UK to argue she was a rape victim

Shamima Begum ‘wants to return to Britain to argue in court she was raped by her ISIS jihadi husband’

  • Shamima Begum fled the UK to join Islamic State back in 2015 and was married
  • The then 15-year-old was married to a 23-year-old fighter called Yago Riedijk
  • Her lawyer Tasnime Akunjee now says she is a ‘victim of statutory rape’

Shamima Begum (above) wants to return to the UK to argue she was a rape victim

An east-London school girl who fled the UK to join a terrorist organisation in Syria wants to return to Britain to argue she was a victim of rape.

Shamima Begum could claim that she was subjected to sexual assault by her militant Islamic State husband Yago Riedijk, her lawyer has claimed.

Begum left the UK when she was 15-years-old and now hopes to testify at a hearing which will decide whether her British citizenship should be removed.

The now 19-year-old’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee has said a preliminary hearing will take place this week.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said that Begum was married in an ‘Isis ceremony within two weeks of reaching Syria’, to a 23-year-old fighter.

‘Her context is as a rape victim or a statutory rape victim’.

Her legal team are set to argue that her case cannot be heard without her.

Yago Riedijk

Tasnime Akunjee '

Begum’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee (right) has argued that her husband Yago Riedijk (left) raped the teenager 

Begum (above) previously said that her mental health had been hindered by her experience

Begum (above) previously said that her mental health had been hindered by her experience 

It comes just weeks after Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the jihadi bride would not be allowed to return to the UK.

Last month Begum begged to come back to the UK to get therapy after saying she now hates the Islamic State (IS). 

Since being part of IS she says she has given birth to three children, all of whom died from disease or malnutrition. 

Ms Patel responded to her plea by simply saying: ‘No way, no way.’ 

Begum, who is now living in an internment centre in Syria, said: ‘My mental health situation is not the best.

Shamima Begum, then 15, at Gatwick Airport on her way to Syria

Shamima Begum, then 15, at Gatwick Airport on her way to Syria

‘My physical health is OK. I am still young and I do not get sick. That is not my problem. Mentally, though, I am in a really bad way. I need therapy to deal with my grief. It is so hard. I have lost all my children.

‘None of the people I am living with in here know what I have experienced. They are not like my school friends who I could always talk to. They do not understand what I have been through.

‘There is no mental health provision. I have heard that in other camps there is psychiatric help, but not here.’ 

In an interview with The Sun newspaper Ms Patel said: ‘Our job is to keep our country safe. We don’t need people who have done harm and left our country to be part of a death cult and to perpetrate that ideology.

‘We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.’

Ms Begum left the UK with her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, from the Bethnal Green Academy school, to join IS in Syria in 2015. 

Although she is now desperate to come back to the UK she said she didn’t regret joining the caliphate because it had ‘changed her as a person’. 

She said: ‘When I saw my first severed head it didn’t faze me at all.’ 

Begum claims she is not the ‘same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago’.

MailOnline has contacted the Home Office, the Foreign Office and Begum’s lawyer.