Former Leeds soldier jailed after fighting Islamic State in Syria

Blanche Robertson
September 16, 2018

Joe Robinson, 25, was arrested while on holiday in Turkey previous year for allegedly fighting alongside the People's Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG) in Syria.

The YPG is not a proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK.

Robinson has denied being affiliated with the YPG, whose ally the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been fighting against Turkey for the right to be an independent state.

Mr Dogus said: "Joe Robinson is a hero and deserves a medal not a prison sentence". He is now on bail and planning an appeal. However, Robinson remains on bail and plans to appeal against his conviction.

He was arrested on holiday last past year alongside partner Mira Rojkan, a Bulgarian citizen who had been living in Leeds studying law, and she was accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda.

Rojkan, who was accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda, has reportedly received a suspended sentence.

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Robinson, who is originally from Lancashire and previously served with British forces in Afghanistan, spent four months in a Turkish jail after his arrest previous year.

His family say he was a military medic.

The YPG is not banned in the United Kingdom and Robinson, from Accrington, Lancashire, said he only spent a month with them in Syria while providing medical support to civilians.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We stand ready to provide consular assistance to a British national in Turkey", according to the BBC.

James Matthews, 43, was believed to be the first person to be prosecuted for terrorism in Britain for assisting a group helped by the British government.

Matthews was charged "with attending a place or places in Iraq and Syria where instruction or training was provided for purposes connected to the commission or preparation of terrorism", British police said.

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