September 25, 2019

Shamima Begum says she is in a really bad way in Syrian camp and wants to return home
Shamima Begum, the Bethnal Green schoolgirl who fled to Syria at the age of 15, has reportedly claimed to be "in a really bad way" mentally and wants to return to the UK for therapy. The 19-year-old, whose British citizenship was stripped by the Home Office this year, is currently languishing in Roj Camp in Syria, according to the Daily Mail.  "I have no real friends," she told the newspaper in an interview at the camp. "I have lost all the friends who came with me. Now I do not have anyone." Miss Begum arrived in Syria after crossing the Turkey border in February 2015. She was then taken, along with two other Bethnal Green schoolgirls, to the central city of Raqqa, which had become the capital of Isil’s self-declared caliphate. Soon afterwards, she was married off to Dutch fighter Yago Riedijk, with whom she had three babies, all of whom died. Ms Begum resurfaced in a refugee camp as the Islamic State crumbled in February. She initially exhibited little remorse for her actions, boasting of being unfazed at seeing severed heads in bins. A week later, she looked exhausted and frightened as she spoke to the Telegraph in al-Hol, a sprawling displacement camp in northeastern Syria that has reportedly become a cauldron of radicalisation. Seven months on, she said she was struggling with the grief of losing her children and reiterated her desire to return to the UK. She was moved to the smaller Roj Camp ten days after her son Jarrah was born in February. Soon afterwards, though, he died in hospital from an infection. She had already lost two young children, a girl and a boy aged 18 months and nine months respectively. One died in November and the other in January, from illness and malnutrition. "My mental health situation is not the best," she told the Daily Mail. "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." With lawyers for Ms Begum appealing the Home Secretary's decision to strip her of her citizenship, counterterrorism police are trying to build cases against many of the Britons in the eventuality they are allowed home. "The only crime I committed was to come to Syria. I would like to be at home," she told the Mail. "There is more safety in a British prison, more education and access to family. Here, there are so many uncertainties about what will happen. It is still a warzone. "I want to be taken back and put on trial in my own country. In a way it is already a punishment being in this camp." Isil schoolgirls' journey into Syria Asked about her initial controversial comments in al-Hol, she said: "I hate the Dawla (the Isil name for itself) so much. I hate these women and what they stand for and what they believe in and that they think they can terrorise anyone who does not share their views. "I said those things then to protect myself and my unborn son." During her four years with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Ms Begum served in the jihadist group's “morality police” and also tried to recruit other young women to join the jihadist group, well-placed sources told The Telegraph in April. She was allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle and earned a reputation as a strict “enforcer” of Isil’s laws, such as dress codes for women, sources claimed.  "That is such bulls---," she told the Mail. "For the first eight months I was waiting at home for my husband who was in prison suspected of spying. After that I was constantly making babies. I did not even speak Arabic."
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