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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP questions prosecution of conscientious objectors

Following the news that a number of conscientious objectors have been convicted for failing to complete their 2011 census forms, Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has said:

“The Office of National Statistics is still waiting for over a million census returns, yet the Crown Prosecution Service is pushing ahead with plans to prosecute 400 people – a ten fold increase compared to 2001.  Those who have been convicted to date include a number of conscientious objectors and long-term peace activisits, who have refused to fill out the form as protest at the involvement of defence contractor, Lockheed Martin {1}.  The question that must now be asked is just what criteria did the CPS use in selecting these cases? Why is this particular group being punished for not completing their forms, when over a million other people did likewise?

“The CPS has an ethical and moral duty to be fair and consistent when upholding the law.  It now falls to the CPS to prove that the selection process was honest and transparent, rather than a potentially discriminatory swipe at a group who felt forced into choosing between their consciences and breaking the law.”

Notes to Editor

1.  Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest arms company, with military sales amounting to $30 billion.