Socialist Worker

New war resister

Issue No. 2234

Michael Lyons, a 24-year old Royal Navy medic, is the latest member of the armed forces to officially object to the horror of the Afghan war.

Michael told Socialist Worker, “The Wikileaks revelations showed the massive underreporting of civilian casualties.

“When I got the order to go to Afghanistan I thought, ‘I’ll go and do my job as a medic.’

“But a submarine medic who has been to Afghanistan told me and a friend that the majority of the war casualties he saw were civilians—and most of those were children.

“I decided to read up on the given reasons for going into Afghanistan in the first place.

“They say we’re there for the good of the Afghans—but if they’re the casualties, how can that be true?”

Michael has had his application and appeal to be recognised as a conscientious objector dismissed by the navy. He is looking to the secretary of state to overturn the decision.

He also faces a court martial after his senior officers accused him of wilful disobedience because he felt unable to take part in a rifle course to prepare him for Afghanistan.

Michael said, “I feel like Fleet Legal, who deal with internal navy law, are out to get me. There haven’t been many conscientious objectors in the navy but I’m proud of what I’ve done.”

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Article information

Tue 11 Jan 2011, 18:33 GMT
Issue No. 2234
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