United Kingdom home secretary criticised over death of Shamima Begum's baby

Shamima Begum was stripped of her British citizenship after fleeing the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15

A medical certificate pointed towards pneumonia as the cause of death, reported the BBC.

Begum left Britain at age 15 to join the Islamic State and made headlines last month when she sought to return to Britain at age 19 to give birth to Jarrah.

In a message posted on social media on Friday, the teenager's family lawyer Mohammed Akunjee said the family has received unconfirmed reports from within her refugee camp in the Middle East that her newborn son named Jerah has passed away.

Mr Hunt said the British boy's death was "an incredibly distressing and sad situation" but that it was too unsafe to dispatch officials to the war zone, adding that they are at a greater risk than the journalists who have interviewed her.

While Home Secretary Javid confirmed Begum's son was a British citizen, he said it would be "incredibly difficult" to facilitate the return of a child from Syria.

Her family, who pledged to appeal against the decision, also wrote to Mr Javid pleading with him to allow a safe passage for the boy to come to the UK.

As the baby was born while Begum was still a British national, his status was that of a British national and Begum's London-based family had written to Mr Javid to assist them in bringing the baby back to the United Kingdom based on his rights as a British citizen.

In this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu Begum, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London.

Ms Abbott called the baby's death a "stain on the conscience of this Government".

CCTV of Shamima Begum leaving at Gatwick Airport in 2015
Camera IconCCTV of Shamima Begum leaving at Gatwick Airport

But, he later said he is working on how children can be safely returned.

"The death of any child is tragic and deeply distressing for the family".

Kirsty McNeill, a director at Save the Children UK, said it is possible the baby's death could have been avoided. However, the Bangladesh foreign ministry said in a statement that Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen, nor has she ever visited the country.

A spokesman said: "Any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has faced criticism for his handling of the similar case of Ms Begum.

But the spokesperson added the UK Foreign Office "has consistently advised against travel to Syria" since 2011.

Her older sister, Reema, 30, has two sons, one of whom was born in Britain. "This is a reminder of why it is so, so unsafe for anyone to be in this war zone".

The case of Begum has highlighted a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow ISIL members or sympathisers home to face prosecution or bar them as the armed group's so-called "caliphate" collapses. "This is callous and inhumane", tweeted Abbott. "I don't know if my Mum every got me a Pakistani passport or not, I've never been to Pakistan", she told The Telegraph.

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