UK refusenik Joe Glenton is innocent

Protest mistreatment and demand his immediate release at 21 April appeal

Joe Glenton, first soldier in Europe to have publicly refused to go to Afghanistan, has been serving a nine-month sentence from 5 March when he was court-martialled.  He has been harassed by the prison authorities because he remains defiant. Protest against Joe’s mistreatment and demand his immediate release.

+    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 that he insulted an officer - his lawyer’s application that he be represented at the disciplinary hearing was refused.

+   The prison authorities are trying to force Joe to sleep under an unwashed and dirty blanket - a punishment that often leads prisoners to get body lice, and to wear boots despite the fact he has a broken toe.

+   Joe has refused the ‘blanket’ punishment: he is now threatened with solitary confinement.

+   He has been denied treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite promises made by the judge who sentenced him. (See Stop the War Coalition website)

Joe has been scapegoated by the military because he dared to make his refusal public. First he was given a sentence harsher than those given to others convicted of absence without leave. Now he is being punished with petty cruelty and denied the treatment his health condition requires.

As the killing of Afghani civilians by the US-led coalition forces continues, and the protests grow in Afghanistan and internationally, it is critical to defend those who, like Joe Glenton, refuse to be part of this blood bath. Many individuals and organizations in the UK and worldwide have protested against Joe’s court martial. Over 1,200 people from 40 countries signed our letter of protest and organizations in eight countries demonstrated or took other actions.


  • In the lead-up to Joe’s appeal hearing on 21 April in London, we urge groups and individuals abroad to picket British embassies and consulates or to organise other actions, including alerting the media. Please let us know at so we can publicise your actions on our website and to the press.

  • Send a message of protest to the Ministry of Defence minister (  Write your own message or copy and paste our model letter below. Copy your message to the Military Corrective Training Centre (Colchester) ( where Joe is detained, and to

  • On 21 April from 9.30am, we will join the picket of the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand in London (called by the Stop the War Coalition) to support Joe and his family, to make this international protest known and to demand the immediate release of Joe Glenton.

 Refusing to kill is not a crime.  Put war criminals on trial, not Joe Glenton!




Ministry of Defence

United Kingdom

Fax: 00 44 20 7218 6538


cc: Military Corrective Training Centre (Colchester)

      Payday men’s network


Dear Madam/Sir,


Joe Glenton, 27, joined the Army in 2004 and was sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2006. During his tour, he was shocked to find that the Afghan people, whom they had been told they had come to help, were fighting against British troops. Ashamed, disillusioned and traumatised by his military experience, he went absent without leave (AWOL) in 2007 and handed himself in two years later.

Joe Glenton was jailed in November 2009 after he spoke to an anti-war rally in London. Diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he was released five weeks later on condition that he no longer speaks publicly against the war. And this is Joe Glenton’s worst “crime”.

On 5 March 2010, he was sentenced to nine months in jail, a harsh sentence compared to what other (less public) soldiers convicted of going AWOL have received.

Prison conditions have also been harsh. The Army stopped Mr Glenton’s pay -- he gets 88p a day pocket money. He cannot receive money, food, clothes or cigarettes and is only allowed ten minutes a week for telephone calls and (apart from his lawyer) two hours a week for visits.

He is suffering additional mistreatment: after complaints that he had not received books sent by supporters, the prison authorities accused Mr Glenton of insulting an officer, a charge he denies. They are trying to force Mr Glenton to sleep under a dirty blanket - a punishment that often leads prisoners to get body lice - and to wear boots despite the fact he has a broken toe. He has refused the ‘blanket’ punishment: he is now threatened with solitary confinement. Crucially, he is getting no help whatsoever for his PTSD. These practices are totally unacceptable and we believe illegal. We urge you to stop them immediately.

We believe that Mr Glenton is being punished because he and his family have never stopped speaking out against the war in Afghanistan, a feeling shared by the majority of British public outside and, increasingly, inside the barracks.

Joe Glenton has already spent far too much time in jail. We request that he is released immediately so that he can go back to his family and community and access the health care his condition requires.

Yours sincerely


Issued by Payday men’s network working with the Global Women’s Strike

PO Box 287 London NW6 5QU, UK  Tel: +44-20-7209-4751

PO Box 11795 Philadelphia, PA 19101, USA  Tel: +1-215-848-1120