Kevin Benderman, imprisoned solely for his conscientious objection to the war in Iraq, is now known to have had his request for parole denied

Best regards from France, Bernard Blanc.


***** URGENT ACTION APPEAL

23 May 2006 UA 208/05 (09 August 2005) and follow-up (05 September
2005) - Prisoner of conscience USA Kevin Benderman (m)

Kevin Benderman, imprisoned solely for his conscientious objection to the war in Iraq, is now known to have had his request for parole denied on 30 March. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.

The parole board denied his request on the grounds that he had not been sufficiently rehabilitated, he had not served enough of his punitive sentence and he had not adjusted to prison life. Kevin Benderman has now served 11 months of a 15-month sentence. He is held in Fort Lewis, Washington State, 3,000 miles from his family. He has appealed against the parole board's decision.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Kevin Benderman had served as an army mechanic for 10 years when he developed moral and religious objections to the war in Iraq, after serving there in 2003, and refused to deploy again. After seeing scenes of devastation in Iraq, and through his readings of both the Bible and the Qu'ran, he filed an application for conscientious objector status in December 2004. His application was turned down in April
2005 and he was court-martialed and sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment. Amnesty International considers his objection to the war to be genuine and credible, and also that he took reasonable steps to secure release from his military obligations, and therefore considers him a prisoner of conscience.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible: - expressing disappointment at the parole board's decision to deny parole to Kevin Benderman; - reiterating that Amnesty International considers Kevin Benderman to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for his conscientious objection to the war in Iraq; - calling for him to be released immediately and unconditionally.

APPEALS TO: Secretary of the Army Dr Francis J. Harvey
101 Army Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-0101 Fax: 1 703 693 5735 Salutation: Dear Secretary

Brigadier General Hillman Fort Lewis Garrison Commander
525 Replacement Ft. Lewis, Washington 98433-9500 Fax: 1 253 967 0061 Salutation: Dear Brigadier General

COPIES TO: Mr.James Vick Director, Army Clemency and Review Board
1941Jefferson Davis Highway, 2nd Floor Arlington, VA 22202-4508

Letters of support can also be sent directly to Kevin Benderman at: Kevin Mitchell Benderman PO Box 339536 Fort Lewis, Washington
98433-9536

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 5 July 2006.


Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights.

This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable). Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl Washington DC 20003 Email: uan@aiusa.org http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/ Phone: 202.544.0200 Fax: 202.675

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