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Woman jailed in Switzerland for trying to join IS

IANS | Geneva |

A Swiss court has given a 31-year-old woman a partially suspended 18-month jail sentence after she tried to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

The woman from Winterthur on Friday appeared before the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona near the Italian border, the Swiss news agency, ATS, reported where prosecutors called for a two-year jail sentence.

The court ruled that the woman must serve six of the 18 months sentence in prison, while 12 months were suspended for three years provided she abides by the penalty, Xinhua news agency reported.

During this time, the women must undergo psychological care and additional she must pay legal fees amounting to almost 16,000 Swiss francs.

Prosecutors said the woman had endangered the life of her four-year-old son, who could not decide for himself, while she undertook a life-threatening journey.

In December 2015, the woman, accompanied by her four-year-old child, attempted to travel to Syria via Greece and Turkey to join IS, prosecution said.

She intended to go Raqqa, which was at the time a stronghold for IS in Syria.

The woman was prevented from completing her journey on the way and was arrested at Zurich airport on her return to Switzerland in January 2016.

The woman converted to Islam in 2009 and was radicalized over the internet when she was living in the Swiss city of Winterthur in the northeast of the country, according to the court documents.

According to prosecution documents, she promoted jihad to others once back in Switzerland.

The defence, however, had pleaded for her acquittal arguing she did not commit violence and asserted that the court had not sufficiently proven she had said her son should become a martyr.

Switzerland banned Islamic State (IS) in 2014 and al-Qaeda is also illegal.