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US campaigner Ehren Watada faces jail

Issue No. 2037

Ehren Watada (right) with his parents and defence lawyer

Ehren Watada (right) with his parents and defence lawyer

US Army lieutenant Ehren Watada is facing four years in prison for “missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman”.

His court martial, which convened on Monday, is a major test case for soldiers opposed to the occupation of Iraq. Watada’s opposition to the war began when he was told his unit was heading to Iraq.

As part of his preparations he studied the reasons behind the war and concluded it was illegal. In June 2006 he was arrested for refusing to board a plane bound for Iraq.

On the first day of the trial he reiterated his oppositon to the war. “My intent was to refuse the order, sir,” he said.

Jonathan Hutto, a US sailor, is speaking at the Scottish Stop the War conference this Saturday (Go to Activists building for mass anti-war protests)

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Sat 10 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2037
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