Tag Archives: citizenship

Ukraine anger as Russia eases citizenship rules in east Ukraine

Ukraine anger as Russia eases citizenship rules in east UkraineRussia on Wednesday made it easier for people living in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories to obtain Russian passports, drawing swift condemnation from Kiev only three days after it elected a new president. President Vladimir Putin signed the decree aimed at residents of the unrecognised Donetsk and Lugansk republics that broke away from Kiev in 2014 and are governed by Moscow-backed rebels. The conflict between the Ukrainian government and breakaway rebels began after Moscow annexed Kiev’s Crimea peninsula in 2014.



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Ukraine's Zelensky urges Russia sanctions after citizenship rule change 

Ukraine's Zelensky urges Russia sanctions after citizenship rule change Ukraine president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday urged more international sanctions against Russia after Moscow made it easier for people living in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories to obtain Russian passports. Kiev is “counting on increased diplomatic and sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation,” Zelensky’s press service said in a statement. “The Russian Federation has recognized its responsibility as an occupying state,” it added referring to the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree which was signed earlier today.



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After years of giving refuge, Ecuador suspends Assange's citizenship

After years of giving refuge, Ecuador suspends Assange's citizenshipA bearded and frail-looking Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday after Ecuador terminated his asylum at its London embassy, where he had lived since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation. Assange’s Ecuadorean citizenship was suspended on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Jose Valencia told reporters. To some, Australian-born Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power and for championing free speech.



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DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to Tucker Carlson: Getting Rid of Birthright Citizenship Is ‘on the Table’

DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to Tucker Carlson: Getting Rid of Birthright Citizenship Is ‘on the Table’Hours after President Trump declared he would “100 percent” close America’s southern border if he can’t make a deal with Congress on border security and immigration, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that eliminating birthright citizenship is “on the table” as a way to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seeking migrants.Nielsen, who recently requested additional resources from Congress as border officials aim to quadruple the number of deportations of asylum seekers, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday evening to discuss the influx of Central American migrants at the southern border, and Carlson immediately began grilling her about what the administration was doing to “fix this.”At times, it even seemed as if the Fox News host might be gunning for Nielsen’s job as he bombarded her with his own proposed solutions to the border crisis.What about punishing employers “who are setting the bait in this trap, who are encouraging illegal aliens to come into this country?” he asked. (Interestingly, the president’s own businesses allegedly employed numerous undocumented workers—until they were caught by the press.)“That is part of the problem,” Nielsen said, adding that steps are already being taken to address just that issue. “We’re looking to do everything we can throughout the system to apply penalties where we can,” she said. Carlson was not satisfied with that answer. “Well how bout this, why wouldn’t your agency write an executive order, present it to the president, have him sign it and do it tomorrow?”Nielsen went on to argue that “there’s a debate in Congress” regarding the executive branch on implementing an order like that, prompting Carlson to blast Congress while advocating for more direct executive actions.“It looks like Congress is not going to act because one party has a vested interest in changing the population and the other party is, in effect, controlled by people who want illegal immigration,” Carlson asserted. “So would there be a downside for the president to act unilaterally on that question or, for example, birthright citizenship? Would you be willing to draft an executive order eliminating birthright citizenship?”The Homeland Security chief responded that Trump has been clear that it is “all on the table” and he’s serious about shutting down the border.“Yes, everything is on the table,” she reiterated.Carlson, after noting that “things seem less under control now” at the border than before Trump was elected, asked later in the interview if the administration would send the military to the border since “it’s really a crisis of that magnitude.” Nielsen said they “are looking into that” and have sent a request to the Department of Defense, causing Carlson to ask who is in charge and if it would be possible for the commander-in-chief to move “troops to the border tomorrow.”“He has full authority to defend our country,” Nielsen said of Trump. “That’s what he is moving to do. His statements about closing the border are a perfect example. We will take all action to do this. It’s on the table.”One topic that did not get addressed in Carlson’s interview with Nielsen, however, was Tuesday’s scoop by the Daily Beast that DHS was disbanding its terror intelligence unit even though white supremacist terrorism is on the rise. Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Two more Isil brides stripped of British citizenship

Two more Isil brides stripped of British citizenshipTwo more jihadi brides who joined Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are believed to have been stripped of their UK citizenship while living in a refugee camp in Syria. The disclosure came as a row intensified over the death of a three-week-old baby whose mother Shamima Begum had been stripped of her British citizenship. Reema Iqbal, 30, along with her sister Zara Iqbal, 28, are mothers of five children between them, and are also in a camp. Legal sources told the Sunday Times that the sisters have had their citizenship removed after marrying into a terror cell linked to the execution of western hostages. A decision to remove their citizenship will fuel fears over what happens to the children of jihadi brides. The two women left Newham in London in 2013 for the co-called Isil caliphate. At least one of their sons was born in the UK and was taken to Syria. The women's parents are originally from Pakistan, and the Home Office could pursue the argument that they are Pakistani nationals. Last month Reema Iqbal told The Telegraph she was hopeful of returning to the UK. She said: "The security services came to speak to me and I was honest, I told them my whole story so now it’s up to them to judge. I don’t know if my Mum ever got me a Pakistani passport or not, I’ve never been to Pakistan. "There’s not enough food for bigger families. It’s a prison here, but we’re serving no sentence. If I face court, fine, but take me back to the UK, that’s where I’m from.” Sajid Javid, the home secretary, was facing cross-party criticism after Kurdish officials confirmed that the three-week-old baby of Shamima Begum, 19, had died this week. Shamima Begum Credit: MetropolitanPpolice Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, blamed Mr Javid’s decision to remove Ms Begum’s citizenship for the child’s death, accusing him of breaking international law and condemning the decision as “callous and inhumane”. Phillip Lee, a Tory MP said the decision had been driven by populism and that the British government had failed in its moral responsibility to both mother and child.  “I was just troubled by the decision. It seemed driven by a sort of populism, not any principle I recognise,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. The news of the death came as Ms Begum’s father Ahmed Ali offered an apology to the British public for his daughter's decision to flee the country and join the terror group. Speaking from his home in the village of Dovroy, in north-eastern Bangladesh, he told the BBC: "She has done wrong, I apologise to everyone as her father, to the British people, I am sorry for Shamima's doing. I request to the British people, please forgive her." Mr Ali said added he only visited London three or four months at a time and had no idea how his daughter had become radicalised.  He urged the British government and public to "take her back and punish her if she had done any mistake".



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IS teen 'shocked' after UK revokes her citizenship

IS teen 'shocked' after UK revokes her citizenshipA British teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria said Wednesday she was shocked by a government decision to revoke her citizenship and was considering applying to settle in The Netherlands, the homeland of her husband. Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria in 2015 and now wants to return to Britain after giving birth in a refugee camp in Syria last week, said the order was “unjust”.



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Lawyer: Britain plans to strip IS teen of UK citizenship

Lawyer: Britain plans to strip IS teen of UK citizenshipLONDON (AP) — Shamima Begum, a London teenager who left Britain four years ago to join the Islamic State group, is to be stripped of her U.K. citizenship by the government, her family's lawyer said Tuesday.



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Britain to strip IS teen of citizenship: lawyer

Britain to strip IS teen of citizenship: lawyerBritain will strip citizenship from a UK teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria but now wants to return home with her newborn baby, a lawyer for her family said Tuesday. The case points to a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow jihadists and IS sympathisers home to face prosecution or barring them over security concerns as the so-called “caliphate” crumbles. A lawyer for her family, Tasnime Akunjee, said on Twitter that they were “very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship,” and that they were considering “all legal avenues”.



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Shamima Begum: Being stripped of my British citizenship is hard to swallow and unjust

Shamima Begum: Being stripped of my British citizenship is hard to swallow and unjustShamima Begum, the Isil bride, has described being stripped of her British citizenship is "unjust" and "hard to swallow" after she was shown the Home Office's documentation of the decision.  The 19-year-old, who had expressed the desire to return to the UK with her newborn son, was banned on Tuesday from entering the country. At a refugee camp in northeastern Syria, she was shown the Government's letter, showing that she is no longer a British national.  "I don't know what to say," she told ITV News. "I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it’s a bit unjust on me and my son." She added: "It’s kind of heart-breaking to read. My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK when I was speaking to them in Baghouz. It’s kind of hard to swallow." Isil bride Shamima Begum | Read more Begum claimed that she was being treated harshly because "I was on the news four years ago", saying that she heard of "other people being sent back to Britain".  "I don't know why my case is any different," she added.  International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship, prompting speculation that Begum held dual citizenship through her Bangladeshi parents. But on Wednesday morning, Begum's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said his client does not have dual nationality.  While her family have said they are "considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision", Begum said she may explore a potential citizenship route through her Dutch husband. "Another option I might try with my family is my husband is from Holland and he has family in Holland," she said. "Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland. If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison." She married Isil fighter Yago Riedjik in Syria having travelled to the Middle East from Bethnal Green in east London in 2014. Begum have birth to their third child on Sunday. Her two other children died in Syria.  Shamima Begum's Dutch-born husband Yago Riedjik In a letter sent to her family in Bethnal Green, east London, on Tuesday, officials said the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, had made the decision in "light of the circumstances". The letter read: "Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship. "In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made." The letter went on to urge Ms Begum's family to make the teenager aware of the decision, but added that she had a right to appeal. Isil schoolgirls' journey into Syria In a statement the family's lawyer said they were very disappointed by the move. Despite saying she wants to bring her baby son up in the peace and security of the UK, Begum has insisted she has no regrets about travelling to Syria. She has also been criticised for likening the deaths of 22 people in the Manchester Arena terror attack to the civilians being bombed in Isil territory. Begum defends Manchester Arena bombing The teenager, who gave birth to a baby boy on the weekend, appeared to defend the Manchester Arena bombing as tit-for-tat retaliation for air strikes in Syria.  In an interview with the BBC, she said the deaths of 22 innocent people in the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 were akin to the "women and children" being bombed in Isil territory in Baghuz. She told the broadcaster: "I do feel that it's wrong that innocent people did get killed. It's one thing to kill a soldier that is fighting you, it's self-defence, but to kill the people like women and children… "Just people like the women and children in Baghuz that are being killed right now unjustly, the bombings. It's a two-way thing really. "Because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now and it's kind of retaliation. Like, their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought 'OK, that is a fair justification'." She was partly inspired by videos of fighters beheading hostages and partly by other propaganda films showing the "good life" IS could offer. 'Show me some sympathy', says Isil bride after giving birth The British schoolgirl who ran away to join Isil appealed for public sympathy following the birth of her son on Sunday. In an interview with Sky News recorded at the Kurdish-controlled camp to which she fled from the last pocket of Isil-controlled territory, Begum said there was "no evidence" she had done anything wrong and she could not see "any reason" why her child should be taken from her when she had simply been living as a housewife. Speaking just hours after giving birth, her baby at her side, she said she had no regrets about fleeing the family home in Bethnal Green, east London, to support Isil, claiming the experience had made her "stronger, tougher". She said she could see a future for herself and her son, whom she has named Jarah after one of the two children she lost to malnutrition and disease in the last three months, "if the UK are willing to take me back and help me start a new life again and try and move on from everything that’s happened in the last four years". She added: "I wouldn’t have found someone like my husband [Yago Riedijk, 26, a Muslim convert from the Netherlands] in the UK. I had my kids, I had a good time there." Her other children, Jarah and Surayah, a daughter, died aged 18 months and nine months. Asked how she felt about the debate over whether she should be allowed to return home, Begum said: "I feel a lot of people should have sympathy for me, for everything I’ve been through. "I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left, I just was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they let me come back.  "I can’t live in this camp forever. It’s not really possible." In the interview, Begum apologised for the first time to her family for running away, and said that though she knew it was "like a big slap in the face" for her to ask after she had previously rejected their calls for her to return, "I really need their help".   Begum was 'OK' with Isil beheadings   The Isil bride said last week she was attracted to Isil by videos that she had seen online, which she said showed "how they’ll take care of you". She said she knew that the group carried out beheadings, but that she "was OK with it at first. I started becoming religious just before I left and from what I heard Islamically that is all allowed". "At first it was nice," she said of life in the so-called Islamic State. "It was how they showed it in the videos, you know, you come, make a family together, but then things got harder.  "We had to keep moving and moving and moving. The situation got fraught." Begum acknowledged that it would be "really hard" to be rehabilitated after everything she had been through.   "I’m still in that mentality of planes over my head, emergency backpacks, starving… it would be a big shock to go back to the UK and start again," she said. READ MORE: Allison Pearson: Thank God, Sajid Javid grasped Shamima Begum is the one person uniting Britain – against her READ MORE: Allison Pearson:  Sorry my heartless little jihadi bride, but you made your bed and now you can lie in it



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Supreme Court will rule on Trump administration's effort to add question on citizenship to 2020 Census

Supreme Court will rule on Trump administration's effort to add question on citizenship to 2020 CensusThe Trump administration's controversial effort to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census will be decided by the Supreme Court.



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