Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2015. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2015.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) on the Iraq War &...
2005-02-23

Jailed War Resister Camilo Mejia Speaks Out After Spending Nine Months in Military Prison

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

Today we speak with one the country’s first conscientious objector’s to the war in Iraq. He offered to testify before Congress about the abuse of detainees he saw in Iraq, instead he was the first soldier court-martialed for desertion. He was sentenced to a year in military prison. Today Camilo Mejia joins us in his first broadcast interview since getting out of prison.

He was released last week after serving a nine-month sentence. Mejia spent six months in combat in Iraq where he witnessed the killing of civilians and the abuse of detainees. He returned to the United States in October 2003 for a two-week leave when he decided never to return to fight in Iraq. He went into hiding to avoid redeployment and was classified as AWOL–or Absent Without Leave–by the military. After five months on the run, he surrendered to the military at Ft. Stewart, Georgia and submitted a formal application for discharge as a conscientious objector. His application was denied. In May 2004, a military jury convicted him of desertion and he was sentenced to one year in prison. He was released last week after serving nine months of his sentence.

In the first interview since his release, Camilo Mejia joins us today to talk about his experience as the country’s first soldier to be jailed for refusing to return to fight in Iraq.

  • Sgt Camilo Mejia, Camilo spent six months in combat in Iraq, then returned for a 2-week furlough to the US. He concluded that the war was illegal and immoral, and decided that he would not return. In May of 2004, he was sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to return to fight in Iraq. Camilo was just released on February 15th after serving 9 months.

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.