Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
Dear Bob Ainsworth,
I am very concerned about the sentencing of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton to 9 months imprisonment on charges of "absence without leave".
After serving in Afghanistan for seven months in 2007, Joe Glenton left his unit. While still in the military, he had asked for medical attention because of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from his deployment to Afghanistan, but his request had been refused brusquely. He had no choice but to leave his unit, but handed himself in two years later after speaking at an anti-war rally.
Joe Glenton had been arrested in November 2009 on charges of "disobeying lawful orders" for speaking out at an anti-war demonstration. However, these charges were dropped at a hearing in February 2010, and the desertion charge was changed to absence without leave.
Joe Glenton was sentenced regardless of the fact that he has been diagnosed with PTSD. The harsh punishment of nine months imprisonment is meant to discourage others in the Armed Forces to voice their opposition to the war in Afghanistan.
I therefore call on you to immediately pardon Joe Glenton and release him from prison. I urge you to respect human rights.