News from WRI

27 Jul 2015
English

Polen ÜnlüPolen ÜnlüStatement from WRI affiliate Vicdani Ret Derneği

On 20th of July, many young people from different cities took the road for the re-construction of Kobanê which is the city that has been resisting against the attacks of ISIS for several months. Those young people wanted to re-build the city which was destroyed by war and bring life back to the children who are sentenced to death in the pillaged land. Alper SapanAlper Sapan

But they could not success. Everlasting war policy turned to a bomb and exploded right at the middle of the crowd of young people who were resisting to build the peace. Tens of people lost their lives and hundreds of them were injured.

One of those young people who had lost her life is Polen Ünlü who declared her conscientious objection in 2012 by saying “That war does not murder only men, but it murders women as well.” Alper Sapan is also one of those young people who had murdered in the massacre, and also one of conscientious objectors who declared his conscientious objection in May 2014 by saying “For the world where there is no war, no nation, no border; for freedom, I am listening to my heart and rejecting the military service.”

21 Jul 2015
English

War profiteering

We live in a world where people profit from war. In 2014, Global military expenditure was estimated to be $1776 billion. Lockheed Martin - the world's biggest arms company - sold more than $45.6 billion worth of equipment. The war in Iraq wrenched open the country's economy to contractors of all shapes and sizes.

Arms companies profit from every bomb that falls, and every bullet that's fired. Through occupation, companies have the opportunity to exploit cheap land and lax labour laws. Conflict zones give fossil fuel giants access to new resources to exploit. Militarism means that research funding goes towards developing weapons of war, not finding solutions to global challenges like climate change.

21 Jul 2015
English

Alper SapanAlper SapanYesterday's attack against civilians in the southern Turkish town of Suruç killed dozens of people. Conscientious objectors Alper Sapan and Polen Ünlü  were amongst those killed. In solidarity and respect, we share news from WRI member Merve Arkun:

Two of our CO friends were murdered by a suicide bomb attack that has happened in Pirsus (Suruç, Urfa, Turkey), today.

More than 31 Polen ÜnlüPolen Ünlüpeople travelling to Kobanê to support resistance against ISIS have died. At least 100 were heavily wounded.

Here is his Alper Sapan's CO declaration:
I am Alper Sapan. I am an anarchist who 19 years old. I am against the injustice, exploitation and oppression of the state. I am rejecting violence and the state. I am listening to the voice of my conscience and objecting the military system for a world that no borders, no wars and no nations. I will not die, I will not kill for anybody and will not be anybody's soldier.

Before militarism ends our lives let's end militarism.

Information about Polen Ünlü is still being translated into English. You can find information in Turkish here.

via Vicdani Ret Derneği (Conscientious Objection Association)

15 Jul 2015
English

This beautiful, working watch belonged to Herbert Runham Brown (1879-1949), one of the founders of WRI.

It has been kindly donated to WRI for auction by WRI member and former staff person Wolfgang Zucht, in the hope that it might again be owned by someone connected with WRI who would appreciate its history, and be able to help to continue Brown's work through WRI in the process.

Current highest bid: £90

If you would like to put in an offer, please write to info@wri-irg.org with the email title 'Runham Brown's watch'! We will advertise the current highest bid on this page.

The auction will close at 5.00pm (London time) on 27 July 2015.

17 Jun 2015
English

Through May and June, WRI affiliates across Europe have been taking action against war profiteers and the military. On 26th May, 'Switzerland Without an Army' blockaded the entrance to a military facility to obstruct a sales pitch by Drones company Elbit Systems. On the same day, Belgian affiliates Vredesactie and Agir Pour La Paix occupied the offices of four government parties in protest at the plan to purchase new F-35 fighter jets. On 8th May, ten protesters in Turkey protested against the IDEF 2015 arms fair in Istanbul, despite heavy resistance from the police (you can see a video of their statement in Turkish here). A few days later, arms dealers attending the IDET arms fair in Brno, Czech Republic, were welcomed to the fair by a host of grim reapers and a banner reading "Death stalks Brno".

12 Jun 2015
English

War Resisters' International (WRI) is concerned for the safety of its members and of their fellow human rights defenders in Venezuela.

On 13 May the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, publicly shared details of the travel arrangements of WRI member Rafael Uzcátegui from the Venezuelan Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Program for Education and Action on Human Rights - PROVEA), as well as those of Carlos Correa from Espacio Público (Public Space). The information was shared in Diosdado Cabello’s weekly television show “Con el Mazo Dando”. On this programme the work of human rights defenders is regularly questioned and details of their whereabouts are shared. The president of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, has described NGO workers who criticise the government as 'bandits', and called for the production of a documentary to be broadcast on television exposing the 'truth' about the work of human rights organisations. 

Among other details, on “Con el Mazo Dando” Diosdado Cabello announced that Rafael Uzcátegui and Carlos Correa were travelling to Chile to meet the former coordinator of PROVEA. This information had only been shared in private online communications, so there is cause to believe these communications are being monitored by the authorities.

Sharing such information puts Rafael, Carlos, and their friends and colleagues at risk. It arms militant government sympathizers with the information they would need to intimidate or attack them.<--break- />

 

 

 

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