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British MPs call for Asma al-Assad to lose citizenship

The British-born woman married Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2000.

THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS in the UK are calling on the government to strip Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife of her British citizenship.

The party’s foreign affairs spokesman, MP Tom Brake has accused Asma al-Assad of using her international profile to defend “a barbarous regime”.

“(Foreign Secretary) Boris Johnson has urged other countries to do more about Syria, but the British government could say to Asma Al-Assad — either stop using your position to defend barbaric acts, or be stripped of your citizenship,” Brake said.

The 41-year-old who was born in London is believed to hold joint British-Syrian nationality.

The couple married in 200o shortly after he assumed the country’s leadership. The pair met at a party hosted by the British Syrian community in London.

Queen with Bashar Al-Assad Queen Elizabeth II receives Asma Al-Assad and the President of Syria Mr Bashar Al-Assad at Buckingham Palace. PA Archive / PA Images PA Archive / PA Images / PA Images

Asma has appeared with her husband in rare public appearances, and posted a number of photos with supporters on the presidency’s Instagram account.

Brake’s comments echoed those of MP Nadhim Zahawi, from the ruling Conservative Party.

“The time has come where we go after (Bashar) Assad in every which way, including people like Mrs Assad, who is very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes,” he was quoted in the Sunday Times newspaper as saying.

Bashar And Asma Al Assad Celebrate Christmas - Sednaya ABACA / PA Images ABACA / PA Images / PA Images

“If Asma continues defending the Assad regime’s murderous actions, the onus will be on the UK Government to deprive her of her citizenship or demonstrate that her actions are not seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom,” said Brake.

He is due to write to Home Secretary Amber Rudd outlining the view of the Liberal Democrats, which holds nine seats in British parliament.

The Home Office would not comment on whether the government would take action against Assad, who previously worked as an analyst for Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan.

Asma El Assad receives various French culture and education figures in Paris Asma El Assad in Paris in 2010. ABACA / PA Images ABACA / PA Images / PA Images

“The Government takes its duty to protect the British public exceptionally seriously.

“We cannot discuss individual cases but the Home Secretary can deprive individuals of their citizenship where it is conducive to the public good to do so,” a spokesman told AFP.

© AFP 2017

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