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Anti-war protest British soldier to await trial in army jail

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton faces five charges after speaking out against war in Afghanistan at London demonstration

Press Association, The Guardian, Wednesday 18 November 2009

A serving soldier who faces up to 10 years in jail for speaking out against the war in Afghanistan will continue to be held in an army jail while he awaits trial.

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton is in military custody and facing five charges for his role in an anti-war demonstration in London last month. A military court decided he should be kept in custody for a further 28 days, his legal representative said today.

Glenton, 27, had already been accused of desertion after he went absent without leave in 2007 rather than serve his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, before handing himself in earlier this year.

He was arrested and charged last week with five offences of disobeying lawful commands and standing orders after he joined the protest. Glenton, of the Royal Logistic Corps, is being held at the army’s military corrective training centre in Colchester, Essex, a former prisoner of war camp.

The new charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison in addition to the sentence of up to four years that he could be given if found guilty of desertion. His legal representative, John Tipple, said: “Joe feels obliged to continue to speak out against the war – that is what he is committed to doing.”

Chris Nineham of the Stop the War Coalition said: “It is outrageous that military people are allowed to talk to the media about why we should continue with this incredibly unpopular war, yet someone expressing the views of millions of people is gagged.”

UPDATE L/Cpl Joe Glenton was told by a military court that he must remain in detention at Colchester military prison awaiting trial for desertion, unless he agreed to keep silent. He was arrested early November after speaking out against the presence of troops in Afghanistan. He risks up to 10 years prison for desertion and other charges. It is urgent for all who support his stand to:

WRITE to L/Cpl Joe Glenton, MCTC Colchester, Berechurch Hall, Colchester, Essex CO2 9NU or email to  Joe, his wife Clare and his mother Sue need to hear that you support them.

SIGN THE MODEL LETTER in support of British refusenik L/Cpl Joe Glenton together with anti-war and peace activists from 15 countries, including conscientious objectors from Greece, Shministim, high school students refusing conscription in Israel, and veterans of the US military.


(via MB)

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