“There have been demonstrations in New Zealand,
Moscow and St Petersburg protesting against
my son Joe’s imprisonment and unjust treatment
at the hands of the MoD [Ministry of Defence] and
British Government. We remain strong in the
knowledge that Joe is right.” Sue Glenton,
shown with Against The War York (UK)
Joe Glenton is the first soldier in Europe to publicly refuse to fight in Afghanistan. He was sent there with the British army in 2006: while politicians claim that troops were there ‘to help’, he saw that the Afghan people were against them. He went AWOL) in 2007 and handed himself in two years later.
Last November, he was jailed for a month, then released on condition that he does not speak in public. His mother Sue and his wife Clare have carried on speaking for him and against the war and occupation. On 29 January, as a result of international support within and outside the military, the military court dropped the most serious charges which carried a 10-year sentence. However, in spite of being diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, on 5 March Joe will be put on trial for going AWOL, facing two years in jail. This amounts to mental torture.
Joe Glenton is one of thousands of men and women around the world who refuse to serve in the military—a crucial part of the international anti-war movement. To defend Western interests, NATO troops have ravaged Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of casualties are women. In 2004, the UN estimated that of the 1.5 million people killed in conflicts over two decades, 300,000 were children. This bloodshed must stop. Those responsible for the crime of war should be tried, not those who refuse to kill. REFUSING TO KILL IS NOT A CRIME!