Michael Lyons lost his appeal against his sentence at the Military Appeals Tribunal in the Royal Courts of Justice today, 13 October. The Dale Farm Travellers lost their case in the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday. Seems justice is in short supply.
More information about Michael and his connection with Bradley Manning here.
This ruling means that Michael will have to serve another four weeks at the Military prison in Colchester. Letters and cards mean a lot and are likely to be especially appreciated by Michael in the next days and weeks, so get yer pens and paper out. Information about writing to Michael Lyons here.
It’s a long and expensive journey for Michael’s wife Lillian to visit him.
If you would like to make a contribution to help with these costs, you can make a cheque out to “London Catholic Worker”, write “Lyons” on the back of the cheque and send it to “Michael Lyons Support” c/o Giuseppe Conlon House, 49 Mattison Rd, Harringay, London N4 1BG or make a payment directly to the Catholic Worker bank account:
London Catholic Worker
Account number 20066996
Sort code 16-58-10
Reference: Michael Lyons
Ben Griffin of Veterans for Peace UK said this about the ruling:
The judges sided with The Navy opinion that Michael Lyons was required to carry out rifle training even though had applied for conscientious Objector status. I am certain that if Michael had carried out the rifle training The Navy would have used that against him in his appeal.
The judges sided with The Navy view that the charge was aggravated because someone else deployed to Afghanistan in place of Michael. That someone else did not have a moral objection to the war in Afghanistan.
It was noted that Michael’s Commanding Officer had supported his application. It was an advisory panel which had never met Michael that decided to reject his application.
Through this whole affair Michael has acted in a calm and polite manner. He has been consistent throughout. He could have gone AWOL, or taken drugs, or feigned injury to avoid being deployed to Afghanistan. He did none of these things. He told his superiors that he wanted to be discharged as a conscientious objector and stuck to his position.
Michael’s fate has been decided by officers and judges with no combat experience (Firing missiles from a ship hundreds of miles away from any danger into Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya is not combat, it is manslaughter). They wanted Michael to deploy to a patrol base in Afghanistan whilst they sat behind desks rattling their sabres.