Parliamentary debate on ‘Marine A’ conviction withdrawn by Plymouth MP
An online petition calling for Sgt Alexander Blackman to be freed gained more than 100,000 signatures, making it eligible for debate in the House of Commons.
Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, secured a three-hour debate on the issue, but has now withdrawn it due to concerns about the impact on the former Marine’s family
In a statement, Mr Colvile said: “At the request of the family of Sgt Al Blackman, I have withdrawn the debate on the petition concerning him that stands in my name.
“I absolutely believe that, as the petition has gained the requisite number of signatures, a debate on it should take place.
“The debate will take place when they feel that it is appropriate.”
Sgt Blackman’s wife, Claire Blackman, said: “I would like to thank Oliver Colvile and Richard Drax (MP for South Dorset) for supporting the Backbench Business Committee debate.
“After a very useful exploratory meeting with a number of MPs, where we discussed Al’s case at length, we all agreed that we should postpone the planned debate whilst I take further legal advice.
“I understand that postponement of the debate will be a disappointment to so many people who have supported Al through the e-petition.
“It was a difficult decision, but I hope that you will understand that it was necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for Al.
The e-petition received 107,235 signatures, meaning it passed the 100,000-name threshold to ensure it is considered for a debate in Parliament.
Parliamentary time in Westminster Hall to discuss the petition was reserved on Monday, January 26 following Mr Colvile’s representations.
Nigel Farage said he would back a campaign to reverse Marine A’s life sentence over the murder of an Afghan prisoner.
Mr Farage said:
“It must be so difficult now to be on active service in the British army. If you see the rules of engagement that our soldiers were made to abide by in Afghanistan, and you take into account difficult weather conditions, the fact that you may have seen some of your own colleagues blown up and killed and wounded.
“Now, that’s not an excuse for war crimes… but I do think this judgement looks extremely harsh. There will be quite a big campaign to get this reversed.”
Nick Ferrari asked Mr Farage, if there was a campaign against this sentence, would he support it?
“Yes, I would.”
Your support is needed on the 26th January 2015
(1630 to 1930 hrs)
Location; House of Commons
Conservative Oliver Colvile, MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, has secured the three-hour general debate on the basis that the sergeant “defended his country from a terrorist”.
Parliamentary time has been reserved for 26 January by the Backbench Business Committee.
Contact your MP from whatever party you support to attend the House of Commons on the above Date & Time…
Locate & Email your MP “Click Here“
Over 107,000 signatures were collected, lets not waste them. If all your MP`s received 107,000 emails asking them to attend I am sure that some Positive Action would come out of this for Alex.
Copy and paste the Script below into your email…
|Re: Sgt Alexander Blackman RMIn 2013 Sgt Blackman was found guilty of the murder of an Afghan insurgent in Helmand Province whilst on operational duty with J Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines in September 2011.As you may be aware there has been a public campaign to free Sgt Blackman, aka ‘Marine A’, and quash hisConviction for the murder of a wounded Afghan insurgent. This campaign has achieved widespread support and more than 107,000 signatures on an e-petition. As a result, Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, has now secured a three-hour general debate on the e-petition which has called for Sgt Blackman to be freed and to have his murder conviction rescinded. The debate will take place on Monday 26 January 2015.As one of your constituents I am asking you to give your full support to this debate. It has been reported that the court martial which gave Sgt Blackman a life sentence failed to take into account the terrible strain he was under after weeks of relentless patrols in an area which was dubbed to be the most dangerous place on earth. He was dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines after serving with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. Prior to the events of 15 September 2011 Sgt Blackman had an exemplary service record.
I urge you to give this matter your utmost attention and would be very interested to receive your views on the subject.
Save a template letter for your MP “Click Here” (add date, address & MP`s name and post asap… Like now…)
RE GOVERNMENT PETITION
12th November 2014 @ 1743hrs
Important link in seeing how the
E-Petitions and Back Bench Committee Operate
Final Countdown to Deadline
WOW, WE GOT 5,000 SIGNATURES ALONE ON 24th Oct
BETWEEN 1126hrs AND 2037hrs…
WELL DONE TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED UP…
FINALLY ON 24TH OCTOBER 2014 @ 2153hrs
the petition reached 100,024 SIGNATURES
Really appreciate those who have responded to my emails in reminding you of this issue and those who have already already signed up, remind others who have not yet managed
Lets get this petition well over the 100,000 threshold
LETS KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING
Sign the E-petition for “Marine A”…
LETS GET A FEW MORE “MONICA`s”
on this petition
News taken from Plymouth Herald write up on 1st July 2014…“click here“
An e-petition calling for the immediate release of the former Plymouth Royal Marine Sergeant jailed for the murder of an Afghan insurgent is well on its way to reaching the 100,000 signatures needed for a debate in the House of Commons.
The petition, calling for the release of former Plymouth-based Sergeant Alexander Blackman has now received 71,166 signatures, and has until November 12 to reach the 100,00 target that will trigger debate.
The chief executive of Go Commando, the Taunton-based Marines support charity has urged anyone who wants Sergeant Blackman to be released to sign the petition.
Sergeant Blackman was found guilty at a Court Martial of murdering an injured Afghan fighter, but won a sentence reduction because of the combat stress disorder he was suffering at the time. Three leading judges cut his minimum term from ten to eight years – the least time he must now serve before becoming eligible to apply for parole. The judges said that the particular stresses affecting Blackman should have been “accorded greater weight as a mitigating factor” when he was sentenced by a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, following his conviction last November.
As well as the imposition of a life sentence Blackman, now 39, was “dismissed with disgrace” from the Royal Marines after he had served with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
The killing happened in Helmand province in 2011 while Blackman, who is known as Al, was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando.
He shot the Afghan, who had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter, in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.
His actions and comments, including: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us” were caught on a helmet camera.
He added : “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.”
Once the e-petition reached 10,000 signatures the relevant Government department said: “The Service Prosecuting Authority, under the authority of the Attorney General, charged Marine A with the murder of an unknown captured insurgent in a legal process that is wholly independent of Government.
“After a public trial in front of a Court Martial, at which he was legally represented, Marine A was found guilty of murder, and two other Royal Marines were found not guilty of the offence.
“The identity of the victim does not change that verdict.
“It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in this independent judicial process
“This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.”
Debbie Howarth from Go Commando said: “We support the Marine and his family and we know the family and we would urge anyone who supports the cause to sign the petition. It is a great way to show support whether or not it is actually going to lead to a debate We hold one of the big just giving sites set up for people to donate to help the family. It has £12,000 already and we will take advice from the Royal Marine Association as to how it is used.”
News taken from Plymouth Herald write up on 1st July 2014…“click here“