Danny Fitzsimons: public meeting Saturday 14 November

November 13, 2009

Image of Danny Fitzimons

The family of British ex-soldier Danny Fitzsimons, now facing the death penalty in Iraq, will join Clive Stafford Smith in revealing details of his plight in a public meeting near Danny’s home.

Time: 12-1.30pm, Saturday 14 November 2009
Place: Village Hotel, Waterfold Pk, Bury, BL9 7BQ
Speakers: Liz Fitzsimons, Clive Stafford Smith, John Tipple, Mick Stott, Jim Dobbin MP

British ex-soldier Danny Fitzsimons was arrested in Baghdad’s Green Zone following a late-night incident in which two men were fatally shot. He has been charged with murder and, if convicted, faces death by hanging.

It has now emerged that Danny suffers from serious mental health problems caused by his years of service in the British army. Reprieve and Linn and Associates are hosting a public meeting to reveal the extent of Danny’s PTSD and the major issues surrounding his trial.

Speakers include:

• Liz Fitzsimons, Danny’s step-mother On how Danny was changed by his experiences in the army.

• John Tipple, Caseworker, Linn and Associates On visiting Danny in custody in Iraq in August, Danny’s state of mind, prison conditions and legal situation.

• Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve: On his concerns about the legal proceedings that Danny is facing in Iraq, and why Danny’s case is unique and politically important.

• Mick Stott, PTSD expert at Talking 2 Minds, former Army officer: On how PTSD affects soldiers such as Danny, how it can manifest itself and why it is relevant to the trial proceedings currently taking place in Iraq.

• Jim Dobbin MP, Danny’s constituency Member of ParliamentOn how the Foreign Office should help Danny through the trial in Iraq.

Case Background:

British ex-soldier Danny Fitzsimons was arrested in Baghdad’s Green Zone following a late-night incident in which two men were killed.

At the time, Danny was suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, caused by horrors he had witnessed during his work as a soldier and as a private security guard in warzones. It is alleged that following a drinking session, Danny became involved an argument with two men and shot them dead, also shooting an Iraqi colleague in the leg.

Danny joined the Armed Forces when he was 16. He served with the Royal Fusiliers and Paratroopers, completing several tours to the Balkans as well as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. After leaving the army, Danny began working in private security and was sent to Iraq by the British security giant ArmorGroup.

Danny has been charged with murder and, if convicted, faces execution.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office katherine.oshea@reprieve.org.uk 020 7427 1099/ 07931592674.

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

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