March 5th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

British soldier jailed for refusing to fight in Afghanistan

London, England - A British soldier who went absent without leave rather than return to fight in Afghanistan was jailed Friday for nine months by a military court, officials said. A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that Lance Corp. Joe Glenton had been convicted by a military judge at a court martial in Colchester, southeast England.

Glenton, who completed a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006, became an outspoken critic of British military operations in the country during his absence, frequently appearing at anti-war rallies and on television.

In an interview last July, the 27-year-old told CNN that he was not a conscientious objector, but was refusing to return because he felt the 2001 invasion and subsequent conflict against Taliban militants was not a legitimate use of force.

"The situation in Afghanistan and our involvement is further antagonizing the Muslim population of the world," Glenton said. "I think the conflict has become part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Filed under: Troops
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. SM

    Human life is too precious to be wished away through a dubious costly war waged in the hope of finding Bin Laden, dead or alive. Yet how many innocents have been killed, their homes and famiies ruined? Yet he is not even referred to since. Can Glenton be blamed for using his power of reason?

    April 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. inga

    Freedom is a choice everyone should have. If you dont believe in what are you doing it means that ttere is no purpose to do it.All my respect to Joe for wanting to get out. I prefer to see people alive!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mohammad A. Dar

    Bangash, The one who bowed to another man or his own desires is called slave, he is dead, He has fallen off of his Axis. Fault is not with the Devil, It is the devil in us. Called our self Muslim but, spilled the blood of one of our own, to please the others or hide our own faults. Kill the TRUTHFULL and call our self Mujahid. Die Fighting for the infidel to kill the TRUTHFUL, and call our self Shaheed. What a hoipocracy. leaving Thee n Allah and adapting somebodies self indoctrinated reasoning, Fikr and accepting and imposing it, by calling it Fiqha by replacing k with Q. Freedom we cherish, but work hard to live as a slave. Brother it is time , we follow the Thee n, free our self from the curse of religion and be free or die as slave and awake up as a slave, in the court "HELKAH" of La. The Truth, find your self and than tell others. Ma Aslam.

    March 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alan M

    Freedom for HIM!!!!

    March 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RP Gerth

    Why would they imprison him for not taking part in a useless war that just wasting the youth of the world all for the gain of the rich and old. IN peace time you are punished for murder, in war time you are awarded.

    March 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |

    Last year I had a pleasent journey to London. Beside sight seeing I had an idea to se this society who have ruled and have been ruling the world and wished to see the secrets behind this greatness in a world where comparatively more powerfull nations like USA and rest of the world states have their existence. Luckily I had access to some good peoples who helped me in finding answers to some of my basic questions. Conclusion I got is strange. My hate had turned into love as here every one had freedom to express views and were many to liston one's logical opinion. Every one had rights and oppertunity to move forward in life. But during visit to London fort its bloody history, open hanging and beheadings, stiries of killings destructions til world war II looked in no way different from where we in Pakista's tribal area, FATA, are today. The main differnce I observed that London has reached the present beauty after passing through the river of blood therefore the people understand importence of peace, justice liberty and human rights. General public in Uk are very loving and full of love for every human being on their soil with out any discrimination and never like to see others in trouble due to their actions. In my view every British civil citizen is like this soldier Lance Corp Joi Glenton if they knew that their Govt is involved in killing of innocent human beings in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I saw an ex Parliamentarian in central London who for the last more then a decade living on a foot path in protest against UK involvement in war in Iraq and Afghanistan, This is law of nature and human history has proved that war affects both parties and in the end both are loosers. The people or the human beings here have love for the life you have here in London and will love to live like you all live today then why your Govt make us passing through same river of blood instead of guiding us on the way to where you all are today. Remember the message of new millinium, this internet age, wherein religions, race, nations have lost meaning and we all as a human being are one race and one nation and this entire world is our common home and only our joint efforts, contributions can make this home our sweet home. No doubt today Joe Glinton or that parliamenterian mgiht might be one in their mission for peace but with the blessings of independent media nation's deception like Tony Blair Dossier on Iraq war, will add to this mission for peace and will compell their Govt to reflect true national aspiration in action and make the whole world different from what was before the age of globalization.

    March 6, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri

    Lance Corp. Glenton became awair of illegitimate use of force. The second thing he quated is of much significance that the conflict has become part of problem, not part of solution.

    March 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A. Smith, Oregon

    Isn't Tony Blair under charges of War Crimes and investigations in the UK over his involvement with Bush-Cheney in a blatant deception of the people of the UK and America to force both country's to attack Iraq?

    March 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mohammad A. Dar

    Freedom of choice is fundamental right of every human being, refuel to obey illegitimate command by any body, is the fundamental right of every individual, specially to kill or die. everybody is answerable first to himself than, somebody else, another human being, As it is clearly stated, in the slogan of a American war hero. GIVE ME FREEDOM OR DEATH. He has committed no crime, but has refused another man's illegitimate desire. Give him medal, Not Jail.

    March 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Observer

    Freedom for Glenton!

    March 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |