Home | Friday 15th July 2011 | Issue 779
LYONS LED BY DONKEYS
Michael Lyons served as a medical assistant submariner for six years before he was expelled from the navy for thinking and feeling. He was due to begin a two-week rifle course at HMS Excellent, a shore base in Portsmouth, last September but refused pre-deployment, asking instead to be put to a non-combat role.
In court he confirmed he had all his physical and mental faculties, and his objections to orders rose from personal convictions not madness. Well we’ve got a live one. “My initial objections started with Afghanistan and I wanted to investigate the reasons why we were at war. At the time WikiLeaks came along and mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan. The reports said there had been some civilian casualties that nobody knew about and they were being covered up,” he said.
Lyons had already been told he couldn’t treat Afghan civilians, which added to his uneasiness about going to war. Apparently medics cannot have such scruples but just be good at putting up and shutting up – and learning how to shoot people. To put more froth in the juice the appeal as an conscientious objector status “probably” failed due to him being an atheist rather than an ordinary God fearing good little boy. Lyons was ordered to see a Chaplain despite his anti-religious convictions, after which the Chaplain stated it was a political, rather than a moral objection. Without the defence that he was refusing on religious grounds, this conscientious person was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order at his court martial in Plymouth on Tuesday (5th).