WW2 veteran asks UN to overturn Brexit vote

Harry Shindler. Photo credit: British Embassy, Rome

Rome-- A World War II veteran living in Italy, Harry Shindler, is preparing an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council to overturn the result of the Brexit referendum.

 Mr Shindler, a 94-year-old former soldier who fought at the batle of Anzio and elsewhere in the Italian campaign, said he is asking the Geneva-based council to quash the referendum result because 700,000 expats living in Europe were denied their democratic right to vote in last Thursday’s historic referendum on British membership of the European Union.

 “I’m asking that the Human Rights Council declare the result null and void,” Mr Shindler told the Italian Insider.“These are not legal men, who argue on legal points, this is a human rights council, dealing in whether there has been a breach of human rights. Clearly there has been a breach. Every citizen has the right to vote,” Mr Shindler said.

 Mr Shindler, who received the MBE in 2014 for his efforts to help the families of Allied soldiers seeking information about loved ones killed in the Italian campaign, spearheaded an unsuccessful legal bid to obtain the right to vote in the referendum for British citizens who have lived outside the UK for more than 15 years.

 “I do believe we have a good chance, even though there will be a lot of undoing to do,” he said from his home in San Benedetto del Tronto.

  “I was surprised and disappointed to hear that the older generation voted “out”. They went through the war, and we have had 70 years of peace because of the European Union. It was very disappointing indeed.”

   Mr Shindler said he would be drafting his appeal himself and requesting it be handled under the council’s fast track procedures. He had received expressions of support from other veterans and expats from all over Europe, he said.

   “We’ll use every avenue to get our right to vote returned. I was one of millions who fought to restore the right to vote in Europe. Nobody should deny other people the right to vote, not in 2016. We’re not giving up at all, on the contrary.”