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Confronted by WikiLeaks Revelations-Plymouth Royal Navy medic refused to deploy to Afghanistan
anti-war / imperialism |
Sunday April 03, 2011 08:28 by Ciaron - Giuseepe Conlon House, London Catholic Worker Plymouth, England
They're in the Dock for Us, We're on the Loose for them!
As was the case with Gulf War 1, more serious resistance to the present wars on Afghanistan and Iraq has come from within the military in the United States & Britain than from the anti-war movements in civil society. A culture of solidarity is not evident in either countries anti-war movements. Military resisters often end up isolated and demoralised by anti-war movements that incite them to resist and then abandons them! Support those who are offerig solidarity to military resisters "Courage to Resist" www.couragetoresist.org "Bradley Manning Support Group" www.bradleymanning.org
ENGLAND SAT APRIL 2 -Confonted by WikiLeaks Revelations - Plymouth Royal Navy medic refused to deploy to Afghanistan
Plymouth Royal Navy medic refused to deploy to Afghanistan
Saturday, April 02, 2011, 07:00
A ROYAL NAVY medic appeared before a court martial yesterday on a charge of wilful disobedience after he refused on "moral grounds" to deploy to Afghanistan.
Leading Medical Assistant Michael Lyons, of Plymouth, refused to carry out rifle training ahead of deployment, stating that he was a conscientious objector.
Last December, the 24-year-old became the first person to appear before the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors (ACCO) for 14 years.
It is understood that the committee rejected his claim but the court martial heard yesterday that he was still awaiting formal notification from Defence Secretary Liam Fox.
The hearing was told that his was only the third court martial to be held with conscientious objection as a defence.
The ACCO heard that Lyons decided he could not serve in Afghanistan after he read the Wikileaks' revelations about the conflict.
Lyons, who comes from a military family and was the great-grandson of a decorated Second World War hero, told the committee: "I was unable to find a real, just and noble cause to go out but I still had a sense of duty to my country.
"It was a big dilemma. Soon after, a large number of military documents were leaked by WikiLeaks.
"Examples included a convoy of marines tearing down a six-mile highway, firing at people with no discrimination.
"Being in the military, most people's view was you just have to go out there and do what you're told to do.
"I came to the conclusion I couldn't serve on a moral ground and I couldn't see any political reason for being there."
He said that he was further put off when he learnt he might not be able to treat everyone, regardless of who they were.
He said: "It seems from previous testimony and courses I've done that even going out as a medic with all good intention, if you're at a patrol base or forward operating base, it's likely you'll have to use your weapon and will have to turn civilians away who are in need of medical aid."
He added: "If more people in my position stood up, there would be a lot less innocent lives lost around the world."
The court martial hearing at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, was adjourned for a further preliminary hearing on April 14.
The previous court martial cases involving conscientious objection as a defence are Muslim reservist Mohisin Khan, from Ipswich, who refused to serve with the RAF as a medic.
He lost his appeal for going absent without leave (Awol) in 2004.
In the other case, Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, from York, last year lost his appeal against a nine-month jail sentence after he went Awol prior to his second deployment to Afghanistan.