'I was an angel who was brainwashed': Deash bride fears death sentence as she faces trial in Syria over her support for ISIStext_fields
London: Daesh bride Shamima Begum fears she will be prosecuted in Syria over her support for Islamic State – and could even face the death penalty if convicted, Arab News reported.
Trials of male Syrian and Iraqi IS fighters held by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Force have already begun, with reports on the ground of some being executed and others being handed prison terms of up to 20 years.
Detainees at two camps for suspected members of the extremist group, including Begum, were recently told that trials for women are expected to begin this summer.
Begum, who fled the UK at the age of 15 to join Daesh, was stripped of her citizenship in February 2021 and has been unable to return to the country.
Although officials in Rojava – a self-governing region in north-eastern Syria run by Kurdish forces – claim to have abolished the death penalty, Begum still fears she could be executed.
Speaking from the Al-Roj camp, where she has languished since 2019, Begum again protested her innocence, arguing she was 'an angel' who had been brainwashed and then sex-trafficked by ISIS.
Now 22, Begum said she has reformed her ways since she joined the terrorist group in 2015.
Begum also recalled her primary school days when she faced some racism there.
"Not bullied, but little comments and stuff and favoritism with teachers to white kids over non-white kids."
Begum also claimed that she had been groomed online before leaving the UK with her friends, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana.
In 2019, she was found nine months pregnant and said she had previously lost two children.
A source said that Begum does not have faith in the justice system in Rojava.
The source added that Begum has convinced herself she'll pay the ultimate price if she is tried and found guilty of terrorism offenses in Syria.
"She's very frightened and concerned. She's been told she will be put on trial in Rojava, probably as one of a group of women accused of terrorist offenses."
The source said that her trial is likely to take place in September or October.
"Rojava authorities don't advocate the death penalty but that has failed to convince her she won't escape such a punishment," the source said.
"And even if she does, she's facing a life jail sentence."