British conscientious objector refused recognition
Michael Lyons, a medical worker in the British navy, was denied recognition as conscientious objector on 17 December 2010 as the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection met for the first time in 14 years.
Michael Lyons, a medical worker in the British navy, was denied recognition as conscientious objector on 17 December 2010. Michael Lyons joined up in 2005, aged 18. Since then he has stopped to think more about his work, partly prompted by researching information about the war in Afghanistan after being told some months ago that he would be deployed there in 2011. He applied for conscientious objection after reading of the “enormous under-reporting of civilian casualties in the conflict I was about to enter“, according to the Buxton Advisor. However, his application for CO status, a few months ago, submitted via his commanding officer, was turned down. Thanks to information from the military counselling group At Ease, he found that he had a right to appeal against this decision to an Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors (ACCO) – an official body outside the Ministry of Defence which was last convened in 1996.
From the Second World War refusenik to the 19-year-old Israeli, Holly Williams talks to five people who risked shame and suffering to take a stand as conscientious objector.