Welcome to CO-Update No 17, our first issue in 2006 - and so although a bit late also my best wishes for the year 2006 to everybody. We had originally planned to send out an issue of CO-Update between Christmas and New Year, but staff illness made this impossible. But with this issue we are back on schedule, and will hopefully keep on schedule now.
On 24 January 2006, the European Court of Human Rights finally released the judgement in the case of Turkish conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke. In short: Osman Murat Ülke complained that he had been prosecuted and convicted on account of his convictions as a pacifist and conscientious objector.
On 15 December 2005, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea released its recommendation on the national human rights action plan of Korea. The 130 pages document deals with a variety of issues, but among others it recommends "that conscientious objection to military service should be allowed to ensure individual rights to religion and freedom, and that the alternatives to military service should be adopted".
International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2006 will focus on the situation of US COs and GIs that want to leave the US military. Presently, international events are being planned for New York and Washington DC for around 15 May 2006.