A Xinjiang court has rejected an appeal by a Uygur-Canadian jailed in April for terrorism and plotting the break-up of the country, Xinhua reported yesterday. Huseyin Celil, a mainland-born Uygur whose Canadian nationality is not recognised by Beijing, was sentenced to life imprisonment in April for alleged terrorist activities. The Higher People's Court in Xinjiang rejected his appeal yesterday and said the 'facts were clear and the evidence was reliable and adequate', when the original sentence was given, Xinhua reported. It said Celil, also known as Husein Dzhelil, 37, would serve a life sentence and be deprived of political rights for life. The case has soured relations between China and Canada. Human rights body Amnesty International says Celil fled the mainland in the mid-1990s and sought asylum through the United Nations' refugee office in Turkey. Canada accepted him as a refugee and he obtained citizenship in 2005. Celil was arrested in Uzbekistan last year and extradited to the mainland soon afterwards. Canadian government officials asked to meet him but Beijing refused because they consider him a mainland citizen. Xinhua said Celil was named as a key member of two terrorist groups - the East Turkistan Liberation Organisation (ETLO) and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Celil was said to have been an instructor for the ETLO and helped it recruit members and send them to training camps in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. He was also accused of organising training for the ETIM. Xinhua said Celil was a crucial figure in the push for an alliance between the two groups in 1998. In 2003, both groups were included by the Ministry of Public Security in a list of four East Turkistan terrorist organisations seeking independence for predominantly Muslim Xinjiang. The authorities claim the groups are linked to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and have been responsible for murders, bombings, hijackings and arson attacks in Xinjiang. During a visit to the mainland in April, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay expressed 'deep disappointment' to Beijing that his officials had been denied access to a Canadian citizen, adding that he was worried by allegations that Celil had been tortured. Beijing denies the accusations.