A Lance Corporal from the British Army has been detained by military police during a solo Saudi protest outside 10 Downing Street in London.
In a self-tape video posted online prior to his arrest, shows the Lance Corporal, named as Ahmed - saying that he is unwilling to continue his military service until the UK government stops supporting and supplying munitions used by Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen.
A further video later posted online shows the British Soldier wearing military issued Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) combat uniform, with his bergen/backpack standing outside the Prime Minister’s London residence, standing beside two boards.
One of the boards reads: ‘I REFUSE TO CONTINUE MY MILITARY SERVICE UNTIL THE DEAL WITH SAUDI COMES TO AN END’.
Three uniformed soldiers from the Royal Military Police and Metropolitan Police then move in to detain the protesting soldier – a member of the Royal Corps of Signals.
In the video Ahmed says that he was born in Yemen and went on to join the British Army in 2017 and also goes on to say:
“It is clear that this government has blood on their hands, so with that being said, I refuse to continue my military service, until the arms trade with Saudi Arabia has been put to an end.
“It is reported that a child dies every ten minutes in Yemen, so I’ll be standing outside ten Downing street, blowing a whistle every ten minutes, so that they can hear, every time a child dies, due to a war they continue to arm and support.”
The BBC recently reported that the UK is to now resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite any concerns they could be used against civilians in Yemen.
This soldier will likely face court martial if he is found to be breaking military law.
JAK Brew Co. contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment, an Army spokesperson, said:
"We are aware of a peaceful protest that took place in London involving a serving soldier. The matter is being investigated by the Royal Military Police and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
Queen’s regulations for the British Army states the following;
Occasions on which the Wearing of Uniform is Forbidden:
“On occasions when the Army’s reputation or political impartiality might be brought into question e.g. Political protests, rallies, marches or demonstrations of any kind where a political, social or interest group agenda may be perceived as being pursued, or where disorder or affray might result, or appearing in the media to seek personal publicity.
“Political Activities J5.581. a. Regular Service personnel are not to take any active part in the affairs of any political organization, party or movement. They are not to participate in political marches or demonstrations. b. No restriction is to be placed upon the attendance at political meetings of such personnel provided that uniform is not worn, Service duties are not impeded, and no action is taken which would bring the Service into disrepute.
“J5.582. All forms of political activity, including political meetings and speeches, are prohibited in Service establishments.”
British military personnel are told they must always remain apolitical, especially when wearing uniform.
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