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UK Blocked Pregnant ISIS Teen; Now, Her Baby Has Died

Shamima Begum's 3-week-old son died of pneumonia in Syrian refugee camp
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2019 10:21 AM CDT
Shamima Begum, a young British woman who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group and now wants to return to Britain.   (Metropolitan Police of London via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Shamima Begum was 19, pregnant, and wanted to return home to Britain. But she had spent four years with ISIS, so Britain revoked her citizenship and she gave birth in a Syrian refugee camp that has now proved fatal to her infant son, who died Thursday or Friday of pneumonia at the age of less than three weeks. The boy, named Jarrah, was apparently in good health when he was born Feb. 17, reports the AP, but was reportedly having respiratory problems recently. The BBC that conditions in the camp are "pretty appalling," with no heat in tents and temperatures that dip into the 30s at night.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid is taking criticism for having revoked Begum's passport, saying that she showed no remorse for having joined ISIS. One conservative MP said the government had a "moral responsibility" for the baby's death, despite his mother's "abhorrent views." Javid's decision to bar Begum from the UK, he said, was "driven by populism and not by any principle I recognize." Tweeted UK shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott: "It is against international law to make someone stateless, and now an innocent child has died as a result of a British woman being stripped of her citizenship. This is callous and inhumane." (Read more Shamima Begum stories.)

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