Both defendants will be representing themselves and are expected to conduct a robust defense to these charges.
Since 2001 well over three million armed U.S. soldiers and unknown quantities of weapons, munitions and other military hardware have been transported through Shannon, mainly to and from the Middle East. The United States has been involved as a belligerent in several wars including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, as well as providing active support for the Saudi Arabian war in Yemen, and Israeli aggression and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. U.S. military use of Shannon airport is in clear contravention of international laws on neutrality as well as arguably making the Irish Government complicit in breaches of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions on War.
Speaking ahead of the trial, Edward Horgan, a member of Shannonwatch, said, “This case is not just about the technicalities of breaches of international laws, even though these are important. The Criminal Justice (U.N. Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 brings the U.N. Convention Against Torture into Irish criminal law, and the Geneva Conventions (Amendments) Act 1998 also brings the Geneva Conventions within the scope of Irish law.”
“More serious, however, is the reality that up to five million people have lost their lives due the war-related reasons across the Middle East since the early 1990s. Shockingly, it is now estimated that one million children may have lost their lives due to these unjustified wars.”
When Horgan was arrested at Shannon Airport on April 25, 2017, he handed a folder to the arresting Garda (Irish police) officer. It contained the names of up 1,000 children who had died in the Middle East.
The trial is before a jury and is expected to take several days.
For interview, phone 085 8519623. For more information on Shannonwatch visit www.shannonwatch.org.
Shannonwatch is a group of peace and human rights activists based in the mid-West of Ireland. They hold monthly protest vigils at Shannon Airport on the second Sunday of every month. They also monitor all military flights and rendition-linked flights in and out of Shannon and through Irish airspace.
Shannonwatch’s objectives are to end U.S. military use of Shannon Airport, to stop rendition flights through the airport, and to obtain accountability for both from the relevant Irish authorities and political leaders. As a member of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) it actively supports its campaign against the integration of Ireland into the U.S. and other military structures, and in particular the use of Shannon Airport by the U.S. military.