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Shamima Begum – the UK schoolgirl who joined the Islamic State group in Syria but now wants to come home – is “damaged” and will need mental health support, her family’s lawyer has said.

Tasnime Akunjee also told the BBC that her family are prepared to raise her newborn baby “away from IS thinking”.

Ms Begum, now 19, left Bethnal Green four years ago aged 15.

Speaking to the BBC on Monday, she said she was ready to go to prison if she is allowed to return to the UK.

Ms Begum was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week and has since given birth to a boy. She is legally a UK citizen and wants to return.

On Monday, lawyer Mr Akunjee told BBC Breakfast that Ms Begum had still not been in contact with her family.

He said the family are trying to get the government to provide travel documents for Ms Begum and her newborn son – who he said has a right to British citizenship.

“Her family will always want to bring their child home and bring her to safety, and particularly the innocent grandchild that now is in existence,” said Mr Akunjee.

“The family fully expect her to be quite damaged and so they would want an assessment around Shamima, and also as much help around her mental health and recalibration effectively into normal thinking as possible.

“In terms of any criminal proceedings, that’s something she invariably will face depending on what evidence is against her.”

He added: “Clearly the family are most concerned not just to get her away [from IS] now but, as of yesterday, to make sure their grandchild – her child – is not influenced by that sort of thinking.”


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