Shamima Begum's newborn baby may have died, says her lawyer

Minnie Murray
March 9, 2019

The infant son of Shamima Begum, a teenager who left London to join the Islamic State group in Syria, has died, a spokesman for the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Friday.

A medical source told the BBC the two-week-old baby had contracted a lung infection and died on Thursday.

On Friday, her family's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said they had received "strong but as yet unconfirmed reports" the baby had died, adding: "He was a British citizen".

The teen, who has reportedly already lost two children, said she wanted to return to the United Kingdom, sparking outcry from many, and prompting the government to strip her British citizenship.

She gave birth shortly afterwards and said she wanted to return to the United Kingdom, but the Home Office stripped her of her British citizenship.

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".

Mr Akunjee announced earlier on in the month that Miss Begum had relocated from Al-Hol to another area near the border with Iraq after getting death threats from other Daesh brides in the camp for showing her face on camera and speaking to the worldwide media.

Ms Begum said she had previously lost two other children and named her newborn son Jarrah after her firstborn.

Begum's son is one of scores of children who have died fleeing from fighting in ISIS' last remaining Syrian enclave Baghouz.

The International Rescue Committee on Friday said that 12,000 women and children had arrived at the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp since Wednesday.

Begum, 19, who left east London in 2015, has been living in a northern Syrian refugee camp following the collapse of ISIS forces. The family has said it plans to challenge Javid's decision.

Shamima Begum pictured in a photo held by her sister.

She returned to the media spotlight last month after taking part in an interview with The Times from Syria's al-Hawl refugee camp, saying she wanted to return to the UK.

"I have nothing but sympathy for the children that have been dragged into this".

He had previously denied the baby had died in a Twitter post that has since been deleted.

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

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