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December 11, 2018
Joe Robinson: Turkish court convicts former UK soldier
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Joe Robinson: Turkish court convicts former UK soldier

Joe RobinsonImage copyright
Depo Photos

Image caption

Joe Robinson was on holiday in Turkey when he was arrested by police

A former soldier with the British army who fought for Kurdish forces against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria has been given a prison sentence in Turkey, his mother says.

Joe Robinson, 25, from Leeds, was arrested while on holiday in 2017 and charged with terrorism offences.

He was accused of being a member of the Kurdish armed group the YPG, which Turkey views as a terrorist group.

Robinson was given a seven-and-a-half year sentence but remains on bail.

He is planning an appeal against his conviction.

His mother Sharon Chimejczuk said she had received a phone call on Friday night from an official at the British Foreign Office confirming his sentence.

‘So sad and ridiculous’

She said her son’s fiancée, Mira Rojkan, a law student at the University of Leeds, had been given a suspended sentence for “terrorism propaganda”.

“There was a trial, but Joe wasn’t at it,” Mrs Chimejczuk said.

Ms Rojkan said: “The court sentenced me for sharing Facebook posts with the Kurdish flag and links to Kurdish songs on YouTube.

“The situation is just so sad and ridiculous.

“It’s beyond me how this can be happening.”

Image copyright
Joe Robinson

Image caption

Robinson spent five months fighting with Kurdish forces against IS in Syria

Robinson, who is originally from Lancashire and previously served with British forces in Afghanistan, spent four months in a Turkish jail after his arrest last year. He was released on bail in November but has been prevented from leaving the country.

He spent five months as a volunteer with Kurdish forces who were fighting against IS, and had previously spoken about his experiences in media reports.

His family say he was a military medic.

The YPG is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey but is not a banned group in the UK.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We stand ready to provide consular assistance to a British national in Turkey.”

Source BBC News

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