British government persecutes anti-ISIS girl as ‘terrorist’

This 2 April 2015 video from London, England says about itself:

‘She’s an inspiration, not a criminal’

Yesterday, Shilan Ozcelik, an 18-year-old Brit of Kurdish descent, was given a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey in London. Her alleged crime? Leaving Britain to join the YPJ, the women’s Kurdish militia that is fighting the Islamic State [ISIS] in northern Syria. At a time when the world’s political elites continue to dither over the threat of IS[IS], Ozcelik’s courage and resolve should be celebrated, not criminalised. spiked spoke to the Kurdish protesters outside the Old Bailey, to find out more about Ozcelik’s inspiring story.

While right-wingers in Britain smear the left wing of the Labour party as ‘akin to ISIS terrorists’, the British Conservative government continues to persecute the only effective force against ISIS, the Turkish and Syrian Kurds, as ‘terrorists’ … reminding one of the time when Nelson Mandela, Senator Edward Kennedy etc. etc. were on the lists of so-called terrorists of NATO countries.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Woman in court for alleged PKK ties

Monday 7th September 2015

A WOMAN accused of terrorism-related activity is set to appear at the Old Bailey today in the first trial involving the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in more than a decade.

Shilan Ozcelik was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Britain in 2001.

The 18-year-old from Highbury, north London, is charged with “engaging in conduct in preparation to and for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism” under the Terrorism Act 2006.

Ms Ozcelik has been held on remand since March in Holloway Prison after she was arrested at Stansted Airport while returning from Syria on suspicion of travelling to fight against the so-called Islamic State (Isis).

She is also accused of attempting to join the Women’s Protection Units of the PKK.

Ms Ozcelik and her family claimed that she had gone to Syria to be an aid worker.

The Kurdish community in Britain criticised the charge as a “blatant example of selective and political criminalisation.”

“We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country.

“As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped,” the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign said in a statement.

“We reject this labelling of the PKK (as terrorist), which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity.”

Turkey broke a ceasefire with the PKK last month after a strong showing by Kurdish political party HDP in recent elections.

YESTERDAY in Parliament, Tory PM Cameron admitted that the UK conducted a secret, illegal airstrike on Syria, targeting and killing a British national. The ‘suspect’ was not tried in a court of law, simply taken out by a military drone in a criminal assasination. This action was in complete opposition to the will of Parliament which overwhelmingly voted against UK airstrikes on Syria in August 2013: here.

DAVID CAMERON revealed yesterday that the RAF carried out a secret drone strike in Syria which killed two British citizens fighting for Islamic State (Isis). The Prime Minister insisted the strike was “necessary and proportionate” to stop attacks being planned on Britain. But campaigners described it as a an “extrajudicial killing” that “violated” the will of Parliament: here.

ISIS DEFECTORS LAY OUT THEIR REASONS FOR QUITTING Disillusionment, corruption and mass killings were a few of the popular reasons for leaving the extremist group. [Nick Robins-Early, HuffPost]

A BRITISH man who fought Isis as a member of a Kurdish militia appeared in court yesterday charged with attending a terrorist training camp: here.

AN EX-SQUADDIE who risked his life fighting Isis had “extraordinary and totally unjustified” terror charges against him dropped today. James Matthews, who volunteered to fight Isis alongside Kurdish YPG forces, had been accused of attending terrorist training camps in Iraq and Syria and was due to face trial at the Old Bailey in November. But, seven months after Mr Matthews was charged, Tom Little QC announced yesterday that the prosecution had concluded there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction on “evidential grounds”: here.

19 thoughts on “British government persecutes anti-ISIS girl as ‘terrorist’

  1. Dutch journalist detained in Turkey

    TURKEY: A Dutch journalist says she has been detained by police while covering clashes in a town in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish south-east.

    Frederike Geerdink said on her Twitter account yesterday that she was detained in the town of Yusekova and would be questioned by a prosecutor.

    Ms Geerdink was previously briefly detained in January and acquitted of charges of engaging in propaganda on behalf of the Kurdish rebels in April.


  2. Reblogged this on OK, Fine. and commented:
    Re-blogged from Dear Kitty. Some Blog. According to The Guardian, Shilan Ozcelik , an 18-year-old of Kurdish descent, was arrested earlier this year at Stansted airport in London.

    Ozcelik is believed to be the first British citizen to be arrested for allegedly trying to join the campaign against Islamic State in eastern Syria and western Iraq. She was arrested under Britain’s 2006 Terrorism Act.

    In other words, she was arrested for fighting the Islamic State, not joining it.

    Ozcelik was refused bail and will remain in Holloway prison until a full hearing on 7 September.


  3. The allied forces meaning the colonists are confused as to whose side they are on are is Isis the enemy of the West or Assad? as both are enemies of Western Allies, the alternative likely possibility is they are not confused by this I mean they are involved with swinging from one side or the other having a no side strategy? this strategy is to legitimize killing and death to those considered the enemy for no other reason than power and this is to extract energy from the Middle East as elsewhere the militarism of the West is no more or less than organized crime to stay in power, and this power is somewhat tenuous as seen by Cameron’s action of killing a British subject in Syria by a drone strike stating he was a threat to Britain? when a Prime Minister such as Cameron feels British security is under threat by a British subject and the murder of this person with no trial to understand the situation of a individual as such? it is noted the delicate and defensive paranoia, you can understand the government whom endorses such actions are a government that is clinging on to power having a serious problem.


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  9. Thursday 5th January 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    A FORMER soldier received a community order yesterday for breaking terror laws in his bid to join Kurdish forces fighting the Isis death cult.

    Robert Clarke of Pembrey, Camarthenshire, was arrested at Heathrow airport as he boarded a plane bound for Jordan in September.

    He was charged with wilfully obstructing a stop-and-search under the Terrorism Act when he refused to give officers his mobile phone pin number.

    Westminster magistrates’ court heard that the 23-year-old was heading to the Middle East to join the fight against terrorism.

    Following his arrest he said: “A lot of British people are going out to Iraq to fight Isis. I feel it is the right thing to do. They need to be stopped.”

    Mr Clarke — who received death threats from Islamic extremists after his arrest according to his solicitor — was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work and banned from leaving Britain for the same period.

    He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85.


  10. Tuesday 21st March 2017

    posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

    A BRITISH man who was arrested on his return home from fighting Isis in Syria said he “wouldn’t have forgiven himself for not going.”

    Josh Walker from Bristol fought alongside the Kurdish YPG forces against the terrorist groups for six months.

    He was arrested under the Terrorism Act at Gatwick Airport on his return to Britain before being released on bail.

    Mr Walker told the BBC that despite some “terrifying moments” he would “always be proud” of what he did.

    He added: “I hadn’t gone out in a gung-ho manner but if I was under attack I was going to fight.

    “All you can do is keep your head down and hope it stops.”

    The young Brit travelled via Turkey and Iraq before arriving in the semi-autonomous state of Rojava in northern Syria.

    The YPG is a Kurdish nationalist and democratic organisation in which officers are elected by troops. With around 20,000 fighters, 40 per cent of the YPG are made up of women.

    The YPG-majority Syrian Defence Forces have been engaged in operations to liberate Manbij and Raqqa from Isis.

    But they have periodically clashed with the Syrian government, which fears demands for Kurdish autonomy could “Balkanise” the country.

    Mr Walker also fought alongside 20-year-old British fighter Ryan Lock, who was killed in a battle north of Raqqa and is reported to have shot himself rather than face capture.

    The Foreign Office advises against all travel to Syria due to a “high threat from terrorism” and a “very high threat of kidnapping” throughout the country.


  11. YPG volunteer from the UK calls for support for the Kurdish struggle

    YPG volunteer Aiden Aslin from the United Kingdom called on the international community to support the Kurdish struggle, remarking that they would have been in Raqqa already had Turkey not been involved.

    YPG volunteer Aiden Aslin from the United Kingdom who came to Rojava to fight ISIS in 2015 is one of the combatants partaking in the Operation Wrath of Euphrates to liberate Raqqa from ISIS occupation.

    Aslin, whose Kurdish name is Rojhat Rojava, said the followings in an interview with ANF.

    “I first came to Rojava in 2015 April. Originally I came to fight ISIS. I stayed five months the first time, and then I left. When I came back this time I came back for the revolution and the ideology. I find the ideology as probably the only thing that’s going to keep the Middle East at peace. Democratic Confederalism includes people of all races and I think this is something that we should be pushing forward to include in parts of Syria, United Syria.


    Currently I’m at the front lines of Raqqa, we’ve just taken the town of Jazirah and we’re still pushing towards Raqqa. At the moment ISIS is starting to put a bit more resistance but we’ve been rolling for the country side. Now that we’ve taken the town, they are putting a lot more resistance up against us. They know SDF is on the front door step of Raqqa and they know we’re coming for them and they’re getting scared and they’re on the run.

    Personally I don’t want to go home, the first time I went home the British police arrested me and accused me of terrorism because I’m fighting against ISIS. I’ll probably end up living in Kurdistan after this is finished.

    My message to the British people and the American people and the West in general is get down to your local MPs, your congressmen, and help support the Kurdish cause. Not only the Kurdish cause but the SDF cause. We’re on Raqqa’s door step and we’re coming hard for ISIS. We’re coming back for vengeance and we need all the support we can get in the west because at the moment political troubles are arising along with Turkey. The more support we can get, the more support on the ground here we can get. So just get involved, do whatever you can.


    We would have been in Raqqa already had Turkey not been involved. They illegally entered Rojava, Syria and are currently occupying land between Afrin and Kobane. They continuously attack our forces, they are attacking civilians. Had they not been involved we probably would’ve been in Raqqa right now and we would’ve dealt with ISIS. But because of that effort to slow us down and slow the Kurdish cause down, they’ve basically made ISIS last longer basically and this is all down to President Erdoğan.

    It doesn’t surprise me with Britain, they’ve got two messages. One message is that says they support the YPG, like militarily with air strikes. And then the other one is that they support the guys that are attacking the YPG. In my honest opinion, the arms deal between Turkey and Britain, and Britain saying that they support the YPG with the air strikes and then going behind the back and selling the weapons that are used to kill people here in our forces, is a foreign policy cluster.


    My message goes to the ISIS fighters that are probably watching this; you’ve got nowhere to go, you’ve got nowhere to hide, your exit routes are cut off and the SDF are coming hard for you! You’ve got two options; you can either surrender or you can die. So you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

    Source: RAQQA – ANF 15-03-2017


  12. Saturday 26th August 2017

    posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

    A FORMER British soldier who fought against Isis in Syria has been charged with terror offences in Turkey, it was reported yesterday.

    Joe Robinson was arrested on the beach while on a family holiday in the Turkish resort of Didim last month.

    Mr Robinson travelled to Syria where he joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which led the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against Isis.

    Turkey has demanded the US drops its support for the YPG, accusing it of being the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it deems a terrorist organisation.

    Mr Robinson has been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation according to his solicitor, who said his partner Mira Rojkan has been charged with spreading terrorist propaganda for sharing pro-Kurdish posts online.

    His solicitor said that he was being kept in his cell for 23 hours a day and his family have written to Prime Minister Theresa May appealing for her to intervene and secure his release.

    British-based group the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign spokesman Mark Campbell told the Star: “Unfortunately, Joe went on holiday to Turkey not realising the kind of state it has now become.

    “Increasingly Turkey, rather than a ‘Paradise Preserved,’ is fast becoming the ‘Republic of Fear’ with ordinary people being regularly jailed for their tweets and Facebook posts.”

    He said it was time to boycott holidays to Turkey and demanded an end to arms sales and the release of Joe Robinson, Mira Rojkan and all political prisoners.

    An online petition demanding Mr Robinson’s release has gained more than 3,000 signatures.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said they were providing support to the family and were in contact with Turkish authorities.


  13. Tuesday 24th October 2017

    A BRITISH man who fought Isis in Syria should be hailed as a “hero” instead of facing jail on terrorism charges, Kurdish solidarity campaigners said yesterday.

    The trial of Josh Walker started at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday after a last-minute appeal to drop the case was dismissed.

    He was arrested at Gatwick airport in December last year after returning from Syria, where had spent six months fighting Isis with the US and British-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG).

    Mr Walker was charged under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act after officers found a partial copy of the “Anarchist Cookbook” during a search of his home.

    The YPG is not deemed a terrorist organisation in Britain and hundreds of volunteers from across the world have joined them in the fight against jihadists. If found guilty, Mr Walker could face up to 10 years in prison. But campaigners said he should be treated as a hero for risking his life to fight the Isis death-cult in Syria.

    A small protest was held outside the court by the Hands Off Josh Walker campaign, which says it is absurd that Mr Walker has been charged as a terrorist after he had been in Syria fighting terrorists.

    Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign co-secretary Rosa Gilbert told the Star that Mr Walker should be treated as a hero for “risking life and limb” in the fight against Isis.

    She added: “Instead, he is being criminalised by the UK’s part-Kafka, part-parody ‘counter-terrorist’ criminal justice system.

    “This is all the more egregious given that Salman Abedi — the Manchester bomber — was allowed to move freely between here and the Middle East because MI6 found him useful in their attempts to encourage Islamist radicalism.

    “It just shows that this treatment of Josh isn’t about actual concerns of terrorism but an extension of Britain’s anti-Kurdish, pro-Turkish foreign policy position.”

    The trial continues.


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  17. Don’t criminalise solidarity!

    An event to oppose new powers to prosecute returnees from designated overseas areas will take place on Friday in London.

    An event to oppose new powers to prosecute returnees from designated overseas areas will take place on Friday, 28 June from 6.30-9pm at Room BG01, Brunei Gallery, SOAS University, Russell Square, in London.

    The event is hosted by SOAS Kurdish Society and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) and supported by Kurdistan Solidarity Network (KSK), London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS), Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK; Kurdish Youth Movement; The Network for Police Monitoring (NETPOL); Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.

    The event is chaired by Anne Gray, CAMPACC. Speakers include Les Levidow, CAMPACC; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer in Political Sociology, Cambridge University; Dirk Campbell, father of Anna Campbell, UK volunteer who died fighting the Turkish occupation of Afrin; Macer Gifford, former UK volunteer in Rojava, fought Isis with YPG; Emily Apple, NETPOL; Nik Matheou, London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS).

    In the wake of the panic caused by British citizens travelling to northeast Syria to join ISIS, and the terrorist threat they may pose upon their return, the British government rushed through the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019. It created a new offence of entering or remaining in a “designated area” overseas. The offence would apply to UK nationals and residents, with a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, a fine or both. The Act imposes a presumption of guilt upon defendants, who have the onus to provide a reasonable excuse for their presence.

    Having failed to prosecute returnees for genuine terrorist acts, the government proposes to criminalise mere travel to a designated area. In practice, such travel has had diverse reasons, e.g. to visit family, conduct research, document human rights abuses, undertake humanitarian relief and to join the fight against ISIS. Faced with up to ten years imprisonment, some people will simply opt not to travel; this outcome would have a chilling effect on family relationships, academic inquiry, investigative journalism and acts of solidarity. The offence also risks criminalising vulnerable people who are groomed or otherwise convinced to travel under false pretences, as well as people who are unable to leave an area once it has been designated.

    State powers under all the numerous counter-terrorism laws since 2000 have not brought security to the British people. Ordinary criminal law had sufficient powers to prosecute anyone planning terrorist acts in the traditional sense, i.e. violent acts aiming to cause serious harm or terrorise entire groups. Despite more comprehensive powers under anti-terror laws, the state has often failed to identify potential terrorists and to prevent them from carrying out terrorist acts. Meanwhile non-violent political activity and associations have become increasingly criminalised by the state.

    In particular, Britain’s counter-terror regime has helped to legitimise Turkey’s long-standing terror campaign against its Kurdish population in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’. In parallel the UK has continued selling Turkey arms for that offensive, which entered north-eastern Syria earlier this year, providing a cover for terrorist groups such as Jabhat Al-Nusra. UK ‘anti-terror’ powers have reinforced that cover for Turkey’s terror campaign, thus playing both sides of the conflict in northeastern Syria. The ‘designated areas’ powers blur any distinction between terrorists versus those who fight terrorists to protect their communities.

    This meeting will discuss how to oppose the new powers and to deter the government from using them.

    Source: ANF London 26-06-2019


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