Don’t put soldiers above the law, says PPU
The Peace Pledge Union has spoken out about the recommendation for a ‘presumption against prosecution’ for British armed forces personnel
The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has urged the UK’s incoming prime minister to reject calls by the Defence Select Committee to introduce a ‘presumption against prosecution’ for British armed forces personnel.
The proposals by the Defence Select Committee were published on 22 July, and, according to the PPU, followed ‘months of scaremongering by The Sun newspaper… about veterans being subjected to a “witch hunt”.’
Symon Hill, campaigns manager of the PPU, said the proposal would not address veterans’ real needs and was a further attempt to put the armed forces beyond scrutiny: ‘It is a fundamental principle of justice that everyone is subject to the same law. By calling for a “presumption against prosecution”, the Defence Select Committee is trying to place armed forces personnel above the law. The militarist lobby has whipped up fears of a “witch hunt” of veterans. Meanwhile in the real world, British veterans are rarely prosecuted and almost never convicted of war-related crimes.’
He added that the proposal is a ‘distraction’ from addressing ‘the real needs of veterans at a time when 13,000… are estimated to be homeless in the UK’.
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