Soldier Joe Glenton, who was court martialled on 5 March and jailed for nine months for refusing to fight in Afghanistan, and for speaking out at anti-war demonstrations, is being subjected to cruel treatment by army prison staff.
Joe Glenton, the British soldier who refused to return to fight in Afghanistan in a war he believed to be unjustified and unwinnable, is receiving cruel treatment at the hands of military prison staff, following his court martial and sentence to nine months imprisonment.
The prison authorities are trying to force him to sleep under an unwashed or dirty blanket - a punishment that often leads prisoners to get body lice - and to wear boots despite the fact he has broken his toe.
He has also received no treatment for his Post Traumatic Stress disorder despite the fact that the Judge who sentenced him 36 days ago assured the court he would receive treatment in prison.
Problems started after complaints that he was not receiving books sent by supporters. On Thursday 8th April he was told he was to be disciplined after claims he insulted an officer.
Joe denies the claims. The authorities refused his lawyers' application that he be represented at the disciplinary hearing.
Joe has refused to accept the 'blanket treatment', part of a punishment called One Bravo, despite threats of solitary confinement.
Joe's mother Sue Glenton said today: "We are seriously concerned for his welfare. This kind of bullying and victimisation is simply unacceptable. It is hardly going to help his mental state."
John Tipple, Joe's legal caseworker, said: "This kind of treatment is from the 19th century not the 21st. We are determined to test its legality in court at the first opportunity. The military should not be allowed to get away with this cruel and degrading treatment."
Most people in Britain oppose the war in Afghanistan. It is extraordinary that Joe Glenton, already being punished for his anti war views by a nine month prison sentence, is now being picked on by the military in prison. Stop the War will be organising protests outside the military prison where Joe is being held and at his appeal hearing against his prison sentance on Wednesday 21 April (details below).
Lance Corporal Joe Glenton
Military Corrective Training
Berechurch Hall Camp
Colchester CO2 9NU, UK
Joe would welcome any books for him to read while in prison. Protest at Joe Glenton's appeal hearing
Calling for his immediate release
Wednesday 21 April 9.30am
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London WC2
Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.
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