Monday, March 25, 2019

Shamima Begum - Can government be allowed to revoke your citizenship/nationality?

Can Malaysian government revoke the citizenship of a Malaysian? 
Can Malaysia revoke a citizenship of a citizen without even according a right to be heard, or a fair trial?
Can Malaysia simply revoke the citizenship of a mother, despite the fact that there are young children who are Malaysians involved?
Can Malaysia prevent citizens from returning to Malaysia?  

These are important questions that we all need to think about now, as this has been happening in other countries, and may happen again in Malaysia and in other countries. 

Shamima Begum case is of relevance to all, even us in Malaysia today? In brief, it is as follows
It was reported that the Home Office sent Begum’s family in UK a letter informing her that Home Secretary Sajid Javid had made an ‘…order “removing her British citizenship” on Tuesday [19/2/2019]. The document, addressed to Begum’s mother, said the decision was taken “in light of the circumstances of your daughter…” (Independent, 20/2/2019)...

Fifteen-year-old Begum, with a couple of friends, allegedly left the UK and travelled to Syria. She then allegedly got married to a man from Holland. They allegedly had children, and this is now her third child. Her other children apparently are also no longer alive. Her ‘husband’ was allegedly involved in ISIS and/or a terrorist group. There are allegations that Begum herself may have supported terrorist agendas, beliefs, ideology and may even have participated in their activities.

There can be many allegations, but allegations are irrelevant when it comes to the administration of justice, especially when the end result is the possible deprivation of liberty, or worse, the loss of nationality.  Allegations need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt especially when it comes to cancelling one’s birth right. Begum was a citizen at birth. She was not granted her nationality by any subsequent act of government.

What we have heard and seen in the media may have influenced the government of the day. There is always the possibility of bias, selective ‘quotes’ and/or selective reporting that may invite wrong conclusions....
QUESTION:-  Should any government have the right to revoke a CITIZENSHIP? The answer must be 'NO' especially if it was a birthright ...OR, do you think it is OK for the Malaysian government to revoke your citizenship when you are not even in the country,....If a citizen commits a crime, he/she should be arrested, charged, tried and sentenced...Full stop? [Someone said, that would be a good way of reducing crime - we could just revoke the citizenship of all convicted murderers, rapist, kleptocrats...and send them away from Malaysia...after all, did not the British do the same - sending all those 'bad people' to Australia...?] Well, you decide ...but decide thinking you and/or a relative may be the person who may lose his/her citizenship this way....

QUESTION :-  Even if a person's citizenship can be taken away, then should it justly not be a decision of  the Minister BUT the court after according the affected person the right to be heard and/or a open trial. It is absurd, to make a person no more a citizen, and then problem, you can still appeal...when one is still in some refugee camp overseas..

QUESTION:- 15 year old girl - well, legally she cannot even enter into a contract/agreement? 

QUESTION:-  In Shamima's case, she had a new born baby - a UK citizen automatically( In Malaysia too, a child of a citizen or even a PR holder is automatically a Malaysian citizen). If the UK government immediately brought back the mother and child from the refugee camp, the baby may still be alive ...but UK failed to act fast...rather simply just chose to revoke the mother's citizenship - a 19 year old girl?

QUESTION:- Was it discriminatory ...because she was a Muslim? because her parents or heritage was Bangladeshi? The current situation is that UK will not revoke anybody's citizenship if the end result is that it will make someone stateless - yes, people who are kids of foreigners maybe could get citizenship in the country of origin of parents ...or maybe be a citizen in the country where the spouse comes for???..

QUESTION:- Is getting involved in some other conflict wrong? Should people who donate, contribute time and assistance in conflicts not in one own's country doing wrong? Is actually fighting - taking up arms a wrong?  Well many Malaysians have been donating for the Palestinian issue and even the Sri Lankan Tamil conflicts? In fact, there may be even Malaysians who went and fought for the Palestinians...and even during World War II, many citizens from not the countries in the conflict joined the war...

That is OK as long as they are not TERRORIST - well, who really defines a 'terrorist' - usually the enemy in a conflict. Terrorist - one who uses 'terror' as a threat and a means of resolving a conflict that the definition? Well, then maybe  even many countries are terrorists? In a lot of independence struggles, the people who fought for independence were terrorists, were they not? Must TERRORISTS have a certain ideology they are pushing for? Even in Malaysia, there is no transparency as to who Malaysia considers terrorists? I wondered whether HAMAS is also terrorist...the PLO? Post 9-11, things have become even worse, coupled with growing 'Islamophobia', who are terrorist and who is not is confusing... 

Anyway, the issue on point is Shamima Begum - can government remove our citizenship? 

And now, there are some in Malaysia that is opposing the bringing back of Malaysians in Syrian Refugee camps...because they may have 'supported' or were involved in some fighting...What do you think? 

Citizenship/Nationality can sometime mean just a document ...or is it more than that? Rohingyas...the 'stateless' in Malaysia???

Just Google about 'Shamima Begum' and read the many articles on this very current issue in UK...Below is but one such article..

Shamima Begum: Dutch husband wants to take teenager to Netherlands

Detained Isis fighter Yago Riedijk says it was her ‘own choice’ to marry him aged 15

Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum is living in a refugee camp in Syria. Photograph: BBC News

The Dutch husband of Shamima Begum, the teenager who fled the UK to join Isis, has said he wants to return to the Netherlands with his wife and newborn son.

Speaking to the BBC, Yago Riedijk, 27, said he rejected Islamic State, who reportedly tortured him on suspicion of being a Dutch spy.

He admitted to fighting for Isis and may face a six-year jail sentence if he returns to the Netherlands.
Riedijk is being held in a Kurdish-run detention centre in northern Syria. Begum and Riedijk are said to have fled Baghuz, Isis’s last foothold in eastern Syria as it lost territory in recent months.

Begum, 19, who until recently was in al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria, is reported to have gone elsewhere.

Riedijk married Begum days after she arrived in Syria, when he was 23 and she was 15. They have since had three children, two of whom have died. Their daughter, Sarayah, died aged one year and nine months and a son, Jerah, died aged eight months.

Their third child, born in February, could be entitled to Dutch nationality, but the underage union between Riedijk and Begum may not be recognised by Dutch authorities.

Riedijk, who is said to have rejected Isis, was found in the detention centre by the BBC.

Asked if he thought marrying a 15-year-old girl was acceptable, he said: “To be honest, when my friend came and said there was a girl who was interested in marriage, I wasn’t that interested because of her age, but I accepted the offer anyway.

“We sat down and she seemed in a good state of mind. It was her own choice; she was the one who asked to look for a partner for her.

“Then I was invited and, yeah, she was very young and it might have been better for her to wait a bit, but she didn’t – she chose to get married and I chose to marry her.”

It is unclear whether the family could move anywhere at present. The UK home secretary, Sajid Javid, caused controversy when he ordered that Begum’s British citizenship be revoked on 19 February, despite her having no other nationality. It is illegal for any country to make its citizens stateless under UN law.

The foreign ministry in Bangladesh – where Begum’s parents were born but where she has never been herself – later confirmed Begum would not be entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship.

A spokesperson for the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) said it cannot comment on individual cases, but added that to live in the Netherlands with a Dutch national a spouse or partner would need a resident permit – which would require a valid passport or other travel document.

The spokesperson added: “To be clear, the Netherlands don’t offer any help to Dutchmen in Syria willing to return. If someone reports at a Dutch embassy or consulate, that person will be transported to the Netherlands, arrested and prosecuted. Foreign fighters with two (or more) nationalities, who are deemed a threat to our national security, can have their Dutch citizenship/passport revoked.”

Riedijk left the city of Arnhem, home to a number of Isis recruits, in 2014. There are thought to be 300 Dutch jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

The Dutch immigration and naturalisation service confirmed that the Netherlands had withdrawn Dutch nationality from 15 jihadists, or announced an intention to do so.

One other Isis fighter, 37-year old Outhmane B, who travelled to Syria in the same year as Riedijk, was stripped of his Dutch nationality last week.

B lost his citizenship because he “has joined an organisation that participates in a national or international armed conflict and poses a threat to national security”, according to the Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander.

Riedijk is separated from Begum, who is thought to be living in a refugee camp near the Iraqi border.
She and her son were reportedly moved from al-Hawl camp following death threats after she made statements to the media that she wanted to return to the UK. - The Guardian, 3/3/2019

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