British soldier calls for help from Jeremy Hunt after being sentenced to jail for fighting ISIS

Joe Robinson PA

Monday, September 17, 2018

A former soldier sentenced to jail in Turkey after fighting the Islamic State terror group is "begging" for a firm intervention from the UK Government.

Twenty-five-year-old Joe Robinson from Lancashire, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' imprisonment after being accused of fighting alongside the People's Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), which the Turkish state considers a terrorist organisation.

The YPG is not banned in the UK and Mr Robinson claims he only spent a month with them in Syria while providing medical support to civilians.

He is currently on bail in Kusadasi awaiting an appeal and has called on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene after writing to former foreign secretaries Boris Johnson and Alan Duncan over the case to no avail.

 

'Emotionally drained'

"It's got to the point now where I'm mentally, physically and emotionally drained," he told ITV News.

"I'm a proud man but I am literally at the point where I am begging, begging the British Government to do something."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said officials are ready to provide him with further assistance, adding: "We have been following this case very closely and have raised it with the Turkish authorities."

However, in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer, Hannah Lucinda-Smith, a correspondent for the Times in Turkey, said: "The British government is trying to keep its relations with Turkey on a good level for all kinds of reasons, for trade reasons, for security reasons. So I think it's quite unlilely we're going to see Jeremy Hunt make any public statements on this case.

"This is the problem for Joe Robinson, Turkey considers the YPG primarily not to be the troops fighting against ISIS as we see them as in the west, but as linked to a terrorist group that they themselves are fighting against."