I like to do what I can to support my fellow contractors out there, and Robert Langdon is one guy that needs our support.  He is a former Four Horsemen International contractor and he was sentenced to death by hanging in Afghanistan for an alleged murder. I will not pass judgement on what happened, because I was not there.  The issue at hand though is that Afghanistan wants to execute him, but Australia does not believe in the death penalty and they do not want their citizen to be executed.  There is also the issue on wether Rob received a fair trial or not. (please read below)

   The big one here is that the Australian government promised that they would do all they can to pressure the Afghan government to hand over Robert.  The point of this call to action is that the Australian government has not put any pressure on the Afghan government (according to accounts below) and that they are throwing their citizen under the bus for political reasons.  So if you want the Australian government to follow through on their promise, and you do not want Robert Langdon to be executed in Afghanistan, then write the PM of Australia Kevin Rudd and let him know what you think.  Let’s get the word out about this, and thanks to the IPSSC and Miguel for working on this issue, as well as the Bill Shaw case.  –Matt

Edit: June 13, 2010 -I just got this letter from Elena Fon, and here is the latest that everyone can do.  There is a petition that everyone can sign.

Hi Matt,

I am the Elena Fon who wrote the guest article on Rob Langdon in this

month’s issue of Overwatch Report. You also very kindly wrote a piece about

him when Miguel sent you some info. Would you please kindly post the online

petition for Rob that began yesterday? Find it at

http://www.gopetition.com/online/37052.html.

Also there are some great comments on the petition. I need people to write

that stuff to the PM. I want him to be overwhelmed with emails/letters on

Rob’s behalf.

Write to: The Hon Kevin Rudd MP Prime Minister, Parliament House,Canberra, ACT, Australia 2600.

Email: http//www.pm.gov.au.

With a copy to the Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon Tony Abbott MP.

Email: tony.abbott.mp@aph.gov.au

It’s easy to sign a petition, harder to write but ask people to take the

time, remembering that Robert Langdon’s life is at stake here. Just write

whatever is in their hearts. And persevere until Rob is safe home. I welcome

any contact, suggestions, especially if anybody out in Afghanistan has

visited Rob in prison recently or has news of him to pass on.  Sorry I don’t

do Twitter etc. So please publish my email address. Thank you so much,

Elena

Email: fon_elenaisabel@yahoo.com.au

————————————————————-

Robert Langdon

Robert Langdon in Afghan custody.

*****

Hi,

I understand that IPSSC is raising awareness and support for British security contractor, Bill Shaw, who has been sentenced to 2 years jail in Afghanistan on trumped up fraud charges. Perhaps you would be willing to lobby support for Rob Langdon, an Australian security contractor, formerly employed by Four Horsemen International and sentenced to death by hanging in  Afghanistan on January 27 2010. Rob did not have a fair trial and his case has wide-ranging political implications as it would seem the Afghan authorities are testing the water with both Rob and Bill to see just how far they can go. Rob’s case appears to be very little known about, not only overseas but also in Australia and I would be very grateful for your help in publicising his case.(contact IPSSC for details of case)

 

Despite PM Kevin Rudd’s  stated intention to intervene in Rob’s case the New York Times reports that  according to the Afghan authorities they have not received any official protest from the Australian government.  In my own attempts to lobby our government I have met with nothing but indifference and obfuscation and essentially the Labour government hopes to sweep Rob under a a great, big Afghan carpet where he will be forgotten until it is sadly too late.  This is evident when it is realised how little his case is known about. As the current Australian government is  long on rhetoric, short on action the essential thing is to vigorously lobby them to intervene to prevent Rob’s execution and ensure his return home asap – if necessary to serve a period of imprisonment over here. The more  people who voice their concern,

the better the chance of spurring the Australian government into accountability. It is an election year in Australia – every vote counts.

No Fair Trial

It should be noted that although Robert Langdon does not deny he shot the victim Karim he did not receive a fair trial or an appropriate sentence. The trial judge took only 7 minutes to reach a decision- during which time he took a personal call on his cell-phone. Rob’s  lawyers were not given the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses or present a case for the defence. Robert Langdon claimed he was acting in self-defence which plea was not given due consideration. The judge relied on a written statement that claimed that Karim was unarmed. Is this credible given that the team from FHI was protecting a convoy and had just been under attack by the Taliban? The judge relied on the written statement of a Nepalese contractor who had left the country by the time of Robert Langdon’s trial and was not available for questioning. Such evidence would not be admissible in any properly constituted court of law as amounting to hearsay evidence. There is no death sentence in Australia and although there is an argument that if a person commits a crime in an overseas country then that person must abide by the consequences, nevertheless, in Rob’s case, he did not have a fair trial. He has now been incarcerated in Afghanistan since May 2009. Robert Langdon must not be executed. He should be immediately returned to Australia where if necessary he could serve a sentence in an Australian prison.

Support Rob

Please write to the PM of Australia Kevin Rudd urging him to intervene without any further delay to save Rob from execution and ensure his immediate return to Australia.( Letters are preferable to emails as they cannot be “lost”).  You are urged to persevere until Rob is back in Australia.

 

Hon Kevin Rudd MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House

Canberra

ACT Australia 2600 

 

 And a copy to the Leader of the Opposition (keeps the PM on his toes):

 

Hon Tony Abbott MP

Leader of the Opposition 

Parliament House

Canberra

ACT Australia 2600 

 

Write to Robert Langdon

 

Robert Langdon

c/ Australian Embassy

Kabul

Afghanistan

 

NB. Rob does not receive consular visits as far as I am aware as he is being held at Pol e Charki and the Embassy staff consider the road out there too dangerous to venture themselves. But if they get sacks of mail, that might prompt them into an awareness of their obligations. Also Rob is suffering from depression and knowing people are fighting for him will encourage him. Want to do more? I would be very grateful for volunteers to  help me lobby support and awareness of Rob’s plight. I am currently working on my own and desperately need help. I can be contacted by emailing me (see above). I hope to hear from you very soon.

Kind Regards,

Elena