By supporters of Joe Glenton. January 19, 2010

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, the UK soldier who faces desertion charges for refusing to return to Afghanistan, has been arrested and charged with five further offenses for speaking out in opposition to the presence of troops in Afghanistan. These charges allege that he led the anti-war demonstration in London, England on October 24, 2009, and that he has spoken to the press in defiance of orders. The new charges carry a maximum of ten years imprisonment in addition to the sentence of three to four years that Joe could get if the desertion charge is upheld.

The army commanders are clearly worried by Joe’s determination to explain his stance against the war in Afghanistan. Following his presence on the anti-war demonstration many of his fellow soldiers told him they agreed with what he was doing.

Meanwhile Lance Corporal Glenton remains determined in his stance against the war in Afghanistan, notwithstanding the attempts to silence him. Joe considers he was obliged to demonstrate in order to maintain the values and standards that he has been taught as a soldier.

The Stop the War Coalition will be campaigning for Joe’s immediate release and an end to attempts to curtail his freedom of speech. Stop the War Convenor Lindsey German said;

“This is not about breach of military regulations. In the last few days a range of military personnel have been speaking in the media in defense of this appalling war. I doubt any of them have been arrested. This is about the persecution of a soldier who believes in telling the truth in accordance with his conscience. He is saying what the majority of the population believe; this war is unwinnable and immoral. The anti-war movement will be doing everything possible to get Joe released.”