Runaway schoolgirl Shamima Begum fears her unborn baby will be taken away from her as her family pleaded for the teenager to be allowed back to the UK “as a matter of urgency”.
Begum said she understood the controversy and intense media scrutiny a return to the UK would bring, but said she did not want to be separated from her child.
Speaking to The Times at a refugee camp in northern Syria, she said: “What do you think will happen to my child?
“Because I don’t want it to be taken away from me, or at least if it is, to be given to my family.”
She also said she had been taken to hospital after having contractions following her arrival at the refugee camp, and could give birth “any day”.
The pregnant 19-year-old was tracked down by the newspaper four years after she travelled to Syria as a 15-year-old to join Islamic State, and she told how she would “do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child”.
Given Shamima’s four-year ordeal, we are concerned that her mental health has been affected by everything that she has seen and enduredShamima Begum’s family
Her case has been the subject of intense debate over what should happen to the teenager.
In a statement issued by their lawyer, her family urged the Government to help her return to Britain to protect the welfare of her baby.
“Given Shamima’s four-year ordeal, we are concerned that her mental health has been affected by everything that she has seen and endured,” they said.
“Now, we are faced with the situation of knowing that Shamima’s two young children have died – children that we will never come to know as a family.
“This is the hardest of news to bear.
“The welfare of Shamima’s unborn baby is of paramount concern to our family, and we will do everything within our power to protect that baby who is entirely blameless in these events.”