MORE than 1,000 people have backed a call to release two Trident protestors jailed for breaching a court order banning them from campaigning outside a nuclear arms base.

Veteran peace campaigners Brian Quail, 79, and Angie Zelter, 66, are being held in separate jails pending an August 3 court date after they formed a human road block on the road leading to the nuclear weapons depot at Coulport, part of HM Naval Base Clyde.

They appeared at Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court last week with three co-accused, and all were offered bail if they agreed not to go within 100m of the base.

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The co-accused – Sam Donaldson, from Hull, Almudena Izquierdo Olmo, from Madrid, and Juan Carlos Navarro Diaz, from the Canary Islands – agreed and received bail.

However, Glasgow man Quail – who made headlines earlier this year for lying in front of a nuclear convoy on its way through Stirling – is now being held in Low Moss prison, with Zelter, from Wales, remanded in Cornton Vale.

On Saturday supporters launched an online petition on campaign site 38Degrees calling for their release.

Last night it had attracted around 1,100 signatures as backers raised fears about Quail’s health.

The former Latin teacher, who has 15 previous convictions for similar protests, has undergone double heart bypass surgery.

One supporter said: “What kind of State has to lock up a 79-year-old non-violent man of exemplary character to defend its weapons of mass destruction”.

Another wrote that Quail “is a true and honest man’, adding: “He has health problems and should not be in jail.’ Others called the pair “heroes, not criminals”, while one posted: “Thank you Angie and Brian for doing something that so many of us don’t”.

The petition claims the arrest of the duo means “freedom to protest laws are being breached”.

Following his last trial, Quail vowed not to give up his activism, saying: “I do infinitesimally small things, because infinitesimally small things are all I can do.

“I won’t pay any fine imposed by any court that implies that Trident is legitimate or legal.”

Reacting to the detention of Quail and Zelter last week, Scottish Greens MSP Andy Wightman said: “To peacefully protest against weapons of mass destruction is an action to be commended and not punished.

“Veterans of the campaign such as Brian Quail deserve praise for continuing to highlight the immorality of the Trident system of mass killing.

“Attempting to ban peaceful protestors from the vicinity of the base is an over-reaction and is likely to strengthen the resolve of the many people across Scotland who want to see an end to nuclear weapons.”

The petition can be found on the 38 Degrees website.