A U.K. appeals court in London has refused an application to overturn the conviction of a Kurdish woman, who has been jailed for joining the PKK terror group.
Silhan Özçelik became the first person in Britain to be convicted of PKK-related terrorism last year after she ran away from her family in an attempt to join the organization.
Özçelik was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment in October 2015. The judge at the time told her she had been "stupid, feckless and deeply dishonest".
She took her case to the Court of Appeals in London, arguing there was no evidence she had joined the PKK or attempted to do so, and that her sentence was too long given her previous good character and youth.
But on Tuesday the appeals judges threw out her case, describing it as "without merit" because the jury had been sure of her intention to commit acts of terrorism.
During her trial, Özçelik, a British citizen whose family have Kurdish roots, claimed she left her London home in October 2014 to pursue a boyfriend in Brussels. She was 17 at the time.
But she left behind letters and a 25-minute video message in her bedroom telling her family she was going to join the PKK.
She is believed to be the first British resident to be convicted of ties to the PKK.
The Turkish government has intensified its counterterror operations following the recent attacks carried out by the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU and Turkey.
Formed in 1978, the terrorist group has been fighting the Turkish government for an independent state until the early 2000's. The group then shifted its goal to autonomy in predominately Kurdish inhabited regions of Turkey.
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