UK prosecutes girl for links with Kurdish female fighters in Syria

Two Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ walking along a road in the Kurdish area of Sere Kaniye, northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Suruc, Turkey – A British teenage girl of Kurdish descent is facing terrorism-related charges, for allegedly trying to join the ranks of the Women Protection Units (YPJ) which is involved in fighting against the radical group of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in northern Syria.

Shilan Ozcelik, 17, who was  arrested in Stansted Airport in the UK earlier this year, is facing charges of “intention to commit terrorist acts. She is being prosecuted under the pretext of “the British Terrorism Act of 2006”.  

Ozcelik is considered the first British citizen arrested on charges of trying to join an anti-jihadist force in Syria.

She lived in Holloway of North London, before being arrested on January 16, 2015, while returning from Brussels, where she was reportedly making contact with Kurdish activists in order to join the YPJ fighters.

The Kurdish-British girl appeared before the court in Westminster last Wednesday.

Ozcelik’s supporters intend to hold demonstrations outside Holloway prison in north London, where she’s being kept in custody.

Commenting on the incident, the Kurdish lawyer Farid Hisso told ARA News: “The British authorities are trying to politicize the case of Ozcelik, making a link between the YPJ and the banned organization of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).” 

“She is accused of making contact with a terrorist group, in this case the PKK, which is considered a terror organization according to the British law,” he said. Communion with a group deemed as terrorist according to the British laws,” he argued.

“However, they don’t take into account that the Women Protection Units (YPJ) is a major force that combats ISIS terrorists in northern Syria. Prosecuting Ozcelik is absolutely unfair since she was planning to join Kurdish forces that are in conflict with the most brutal terror group in the world,” Hisso told ARA News

Noteworthy, Costas Eric Skarfield, from the British Royal Marines, was killed earlier this month while fighting alongside the Kurdish forces against IS militants in northeastern Syria.


Reporting by: Mohammed Ali 

Source: ARA News

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