DHAKA: Shamima Begum, a British teenager who ran away in 2015 to become a Daesh militant bride, will be hanged for “terrorism offences” if she comes to Bangladesh, the country’s Foreign Minister has said.
In an interview to Britain’s ITV, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abdul Momen said the 19-year-old – who is currently living in the Al Hol desert refugee camp in Syria – would face the death penalty if she ended up in the South Asian country.
She was also stripped of her British citizenship by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February.
Although Shamima Begum is of Bangladeshi descent, the country’s Foreign Ministry denied it. “We have nothing to do with Shamima Begum. She is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She never applied for Bangladesh citizenship. She was born in England and her mother is British,” Momen said on Thursday.
“If anyone is found to be involved with terrorism, we have a simple rule. There will be capital punishment. And nothing else. She will be put in prison and immediately, the rule is, she should be hanged,” he added.
Begum ran away from her London home as a schoolgirl after reading about Daesh online. She was one of three friends to do so. The other two are believed to have died in Syria.
Since the terror group’s “collapse” in Syria last year, the teenager – who has had three children who all died in Syria – has been living in refugee camps. She had expressed her wish to return to the UK.
Momen compared the British government’s refusal to take her back to the treatment of the Rohingya by the Myanmar authorities.
Bangladesh is currently hosting an estimated 1.1 million Rohingya refugees after they fled over the border to escape persecution in their native country.
“When they’re being persecuted and killed, we open our doors to save humanity,” said Momen.
The British government has not responded to the comments.