Govt should support Kiwi dissenter facing RAF court martial

Green MP Keith Locke has sent a letter of support to a New Zealander being court-martialled by the RAF for refusing to return to Iraq and is challenging our Government to support the officer as well.

In the letter Mr Locke commends Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, a British air force officer and New Zealand citizen who has refused to return to Iraq because he views the war as illegal, for his “courage in standing up for all those opposed to the war and the continuing occupation of Iraq by United States and British-led forces.” He goes on; “There is no way that any British officer should be forced to participate in what is clearly an illegal war,”

“The Green Party agrees with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s comments in September 2004 that the invasion of Iraq was illegal and violated the UN Charter,” Mr Locke, the Green Party’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson says.

“Helen Clark endorsed the Secretary General comments at the time. I want her government to also give moral support to this bold Kiwi.”

In his letter, Mr Locke wrote “too many people have already died in this war, which is increasingly unpopular in Britain and the United States.

“The invasion of Iraq, led by two of the world’s great powers, set a very bad precedent. It was embarked on in open defiance of the world community and on the basis of the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We must always look first for peaceful ways of solving the world’s problems.”