Soldier jailed for refusing to go back to Afghanistan is freed
Joe Glenton went awol rather than return to war he opposed
Matthew Taylor
The Guardian

Monday 12 July 2010
British soldier Joe Glenton has been released after serving a prison term for refusing to return to Afghanistan.

A soldier who was jailed after refusing to return to Afghanistan because he opposed the war was released from prison yesterday. Joe Glenton, from York, fled to Asia in mid-2007, before he was due to start a second tour.
He stayed abroad for two years before returning to speak at Stop the War rallies. Glenton also wrote to Gordon Brown to denounce the conflict. In March he was jailed for nine months after admitting going absent without leave.

After his release he said his stint in prison had been worth it: "It  was difficult to be away from family but I knew it was for the right reasons and I would do it again - and again after that," he said."

Sue Glenton said her son planned to start a university course

12 July 2010 Last updated at 11:14 GMT

Anti-Afghan War soldier Joe Glenton is released

A soldier who was jailed after refusing to return to Afghanistan because he opposed the war has been released from prison.

L/Cpl Joe Glenton, 27, from York, was jailed for nine months in March after he admitted going absent without leave.

Mr Glenton, based in Oxfordshire, joined the Army in 2004 but absconded in 2007 after serving with the Royal Logistic Corps in Afghanistan.

He was released from a military prison in Colchester on Monday.

His mother Sue Glenton said her son had served four months in a military prison in Colchester.

"We knew he would be out eventually but it has been a long time coming," she said.

She said that her son, who is expected to be officially discharged from the Army, was planning to start a university course in international studies.

Court martial

Glenton handed himself in after two years and six days' absence.

A court martial was told that the soldier, who later campaigned against the conflict, was discovered to be absent on 11 June 2007, when he was due to return to Dalton Barracks in Abingdon.

He returned to barracks 737 days later on 16 June 2009, when he was charged.

He had previously performed a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

When he returned he was ordered to go back to the conflict zone.

The court martial heard that Glenton had suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his first tour of duty.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said they did not comment on individual cases.

Anti-war soldier Joe Glenton released from prison to hero’s welcome

Tuesday, 13 July 2010 03:11

Written by Katherine Connelly

Joe Glenton, the soldier who refused to return to fight in Afghanistan and who spoke out against the war, was released from military prison yesterday.

Stop the war supporters assembled to greet Joe

He was greeted by around 30 supporters and dozens of reporters outside the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester.  Some of his supporters had waited over an hour and a half in the pouring rain to pay tribute to the brave stand Joe Glenton took.

They cheered and applauded as Joe Glenton walked out of the gates alongside his wife, Clare Glenton, and his mother, Sue Glenton.  

This gathering marked the culmination of the fortnightly protests held by Colchester Stop the War to protest at Joe’s imprisonment and to celebrate Joe’s courage in speaking out.

On this occasion they were joined by supporters from London as well as three national officers of the Stop the War Coalition and its national convenor, Lindsey German.

Everyone there felt that this was a very important day for the movement.  The welcome demonstration culminated in chants calling for troops out of Afghanistan.

The huge personal sacrifice that Joe made to speak the truth about the war and the sense of injustice at his imprisonment galvanised a Stop the War group into being in Colchester, one of Britain’s largest garrison towns.  We are sure that Joe Glenton will remain an inspiration to the Stop the War movement.

Rally Monday 26 July 7pm: Afghanistan - Time To Go

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

Speakers include: Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, just released from prison following his court martial for refusing to fight in Afghanistan, ex-soldier Ross Williams, jailed in 2008 for refusing to fight in Iraq, Caroline Lucas MP and other MPs. More speakers TBA.

The war in Afghanistan is in crisis. The strategy for the US-led occupation is crumbling. Violence is increasing, with deaths of Afghan civilians and Nato troops at higher levels than at any time since 2001. But the ConLib coalition government continues to send troops to kill and die in a war that has no purpose and is being lost, ignoring the two thirds majority of people in Britain who want them brought home now.