Howard under house arrest

Press release - 19 March, 2003

An activist is cut free from the gates at the front of the The Lodge where Australian Prime Minister John Howard was placed under 'house arrest' by Greenpeace

John Howard has been placed under house arrest by Greenpeace, acting as an agent of the United Nations. Howard s action of committing Australia to war in Iraq was found to breach articles 2(4), 42 and 51 of the UN Charter.

Under these articles UN member states are to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Force may only be used if specifically approved by the Security Council or in self-defence when a threat is immanent.

At 6am this morning 3 vehicles carrying UN insignia blocked all access points to The Lodge, confining the Prime Minister to symbolic house arrest. Greenpeace volunteers dressed as UN personnel posted themselves at the gates and locked themselves onto the vehicles. "There simply is no legal basis for individual UN members to take military action without UN approval," said Greenpeace campaigner Shane Rattenbury.

"John Howard has engaged in legalistic cherry picking from earlier resolutions, to justify a war that has not been authorised by the majority of the UN Security Council or even the majority of its permanent members," Rattenbury said.

Greenpeace is reinforcing the message given to John Howard loud and clear by more than half a million Australians who marched in recent peace rallies.

"It s not too late, Federal Cabinet must reverse yesterday s decision to commit Australian troops to war in Iraq and bring Australia s troops home," concluded Rattenbury.

VVPR info: Photos & footage available at Greenpeace International:Photo Desk: +31 20 5249597Video Desk: +31 20 5249509/544

Notes: For a full copy of Greenpeace's legal analysis of the UK Attorney General's legal advice visit