Monday, May 22, 2006

UK Soldiers to get life in jail for refusing to act as occupiers

British soldiers who object to taking part in a military occupation of a foreign country will face life in prison under measures due to be rubber-stamped in the House of Commons on Monday.

The little-noticed Armed Forces Bill will have its third reading in the Commons on Monday and left-leaning MPs are alarmed that it will legitimise pre-emptive military strikes. It will change the definition of desertion to include soldiers who go absent without leave and intend to refuse to take part in a "military occupation of a foreign country or territory".

Anti-war campaigners claim the change means it would expressly legitimise occupation and force soldiers to contravene the Nuremberg Principles, limiting their right to becoming conscientious objectors.

Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier who quit the army without facing punishment after being "appalled" at what was happening in Iraq, accused the government of changing the law ahead of any possible action in Iran.

"The government are kicking themselves in the teeth," he said. "Currently the British Army is a volunteer force, but using this sort of stick to beat soldiers into doing what they are told is turning it into a conscript army."

Full article Here.

Conscientious objector now equals life in prison it seems . If there is a scale for crimes then I can only presume not eating your breakfast now equals ten years hard labour. As for dirty socks well death by firing squad could be an option maybe.

I think we can safely watch this one be overturned at the European court of human rights. Life in prison for having a moral or ethical reason to reject to fight is so draconian a law that it is beyond a sensible response. What if part of your family still lives in Iran or Iraq, does the choice then become bomb your own family or spend your entire life in jail.

Of course if you sign on the dotted line then you have to abide by the rules. But when those rules inform you that life in prison is the cost to you if you object, you do have to wonder if the very concept of a moral and decent society is being ripped up in front of our faces by the very people elected to protect them .

How much longer do we have to wait for the return of conscription as the final nail in the coffin to the concept that you own your own soul.


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