the trial: how to support US conscientious objector Camilo Mejia
Thank you for what you're doing to contribute with Camilo's cause, which is the cause of peace.
As you should know, Camilo was found guilty of desertion and was sentenced to one year in prison. Many injustices happened during that trial. The defense was not allowed to present arguments that would have demonstrated Camilo's conscientious objection. They did not let him talk about his moral beliefs. Now they have sent Camilo to Fort Sill in Oklahoma, far away from where his family lives, only to isolate him from us. This, of course is not going to happen, because we will be wherever they take him. And we will continue this struggle until justice prevails.
There are many things that you can do to continue helping Camilo.
It is imperative that people write letters to General William G. WebsterJr., him to expedite the transcript of the trial. People can also request him for clemency, he has the power to reduce the sentence. Camilo is a true prisoner of conscience. It is because of his moral and religious beliefs that he is in prison right now. Please make sure to let people know that they need to send copies to Louis Font (Camilo's lawyer) of the letters they write to General. Webster, Jr. I will write the addressees down below.
People can also write letters directly to Camilo showing him their support. Also, make sure people mention in the body of the letter that they are sending a copy of that letter to his mother Maritza. This is a way to make sure these letters get to him. I'll also write down these two addressees. Thank you so much for everything you're doing.
General William G. Webster, Jr. Commanding General,
Font (Camilo's Lawyer)
Castillo (Camilo's mother)
Let Peace be in the World!!
Norma 1 June 2004
Previous appeal from Camilo's mother
Letter by Maritza Castillo and circulated by Military Families Speak Out http://www.mfso.org
My name is Maritza Castillo and I'm an active member of Military Family Speak Out (MFSO). I'm also the mother of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia.
On March 24, 2004, Louis Font, my son's lawyer informed me about the charges that my son is being accused of. This is what he told me:
"Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, 28, of Miami, Florida was charged by his commanders at Ft. Stewart, Georgia with desertion on Wednesday, March 24, 2004. He will be tried by a Special Court Martial, which means that the maximum sentence he can receive is one year imprisonment and a Bad Conduct Discharge."
I've also learned that army officials have restricted Camilo to Ft. Stewart and have barred him from conducting face to face interviews on the base with the media. Louis Font, his civilian attorney, plans to challenge this "gag" order, arguing that my son's rights to free speech are being abridged.
President Bush does not give any explanation about the weapons of mass destruction that have not been found and for which he invaded and bombarded the people of Iraq and sent our young soldiers to die in this illegal and immoral war. Instead he makes a mockery about the reasons he's had to spend the money of the American people in this bellicose adventure. When he is asked about the weapons of mass destruction and the chemical weapons, he responds with vulgar gestures.
It is in this context that the army ignores the conscientious objection application that my son Camilo submitted to this institution. Instead they accuse him of desertion.I'm addressing the people of the United States of America, the Hispanic Community and the world to express my deepest sorrow and indignation about the injustice that is being made against my son. I want to ask you to continue giving him your support. Please write letters to Camilo expressing your support towards his cause. Send letters to the Army Officials and to the Congress of the United States demanding that his conscientious objection application be accepted.
Peace and Solidarity to the world.
Military Families Speak Out http://www.mfso.org
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