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09 Mär 2015

by Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL

Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL: Much that is negative and little that is positive in the outcome

The network for conscientious objection Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL criticize today’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the case of U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd (37) as insufficient and in part quite incomprehensible in its argumentation. “The ruling by the ECJ does not strengthen the position of conscientious objectors and deserters in political-asylum proceedings. The Court avoided some fundamental questions, and answered others unacceptably, contrary to the opinion submitted by the Advocate-General.” said Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V.

03 Mär 2015

Photo: Bem photographyPhoto: Bem photography

After the reinstatement of military conscription last year, the Ukrainian military is undertaking the first of three waves of 'emergency' military conscription. Call ups in this wave started on 20 January, and men aged 25 to 60 are eligible for conscription. By mid-February 75000 people had been called up, of whom 60% will enter service, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claims.

Conscription had ended in Ukraine in 2013, but was reimposed in 2014.

27 Feb 2015

Ruslan Narkuliyev, the last Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector imprisoned in Turkmenistan's Seydi labour camp was released on 17 February in part of a President's amnesty, the Turkmen government's 'Flag Day'. This follows the release of the other eight Jehovah's Witness COs who had been in Seydi labour camp up until October. Ruslan had been sentenced to two years' imprisonment in September 2014.

There remains one Jehovah's Witness conscientious, Soyunmurat Korov, who is still being detained – but in a military hospital. Jehovah's Witness in Turkmenistan told Forum 18 that he is being held against his will.

Sources: Forum 18,, 28 October 2014; WRI, December CO Update,  12 December 2014; Forum 18, TURKMENISTAN: Two amnestied prisoners, conscientious objector in hospital, beaten "Wahhabis", 19 February 2015

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