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27 Feb 2015
English

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.

27 Feb 2015
English

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, http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2009, 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

17 Feb 2015
English

A military court in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas has sentenced conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan, to 15 months in jail. The verdict was transformed to a fine of 9,000 Turkish Liras, for “failing to obey orders.” Mehmet is appealing the verdict Mehmet's struggle against the Turkish military has been running for over a decade.

The verdict disregards a previous ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in which they found on a violation of article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and in addition of article 3 (prohibition of torture or inhuman treatment) of the Convention. The Court ruled that the heavy criminal sanctions imposed on those who did not comply with compulsory military service did not strike a proper balance between the general interest of society and that of conscientious objectors.

17 Feb 2015
English

This year, WRI will publish a new handbook for conscientious objection.

17 Feb 2015
English

Campaigners in Colombia have been boosted by a new ruling from the Constitutional Court. In a case brought by two conscientious objectors (COs) who had been forcibly recruited into the military, n January the Court ordered the National Recruitment Office to: resolve applications for CO within 15 days; to publish a booklet that notifies youth of their grounds for exemption, deferral, and their right to CO; and to end the practices of arbitrary detention, including batidas (recruitment raids, usually in public spaces).

17 Feb 2015
English

In Finland, WRI's affiliate AKL (Union of Conscientious Objectors) are petitioning the government to end conscription and the imprisonment of conscientious objectors. Please add your name to it here.

In addition to signing the petition, you could:

17 Feb 2015
English

Semih SapmazSemih Sapmaz

There will be many changes in the WRI office this year. Firstly, we say goodbye to Javier Gárate after ten years working in the office. There will be a chance to say goodbye and thank you to Javier next month! Taking over from Javier as WRI's Nonviolence Programme Worker in mid-February will be Andrew Dey.

17 Feb 2015
English

http://antimili-youth.net/ is WRI's web resource focusing on youth militarisation and how to counter it. Recent stories include

04 Feb 2015
English

Javier Gárate

04 Feb 2015
English

By Who Profits

04 Feb 2015
English

By Yesenia Barragan

04 Feb 2015
English

Seoul action by World Without WarSeoul action by World Without War

In recent years, Turkey has repeatedly abused the rights of protesters with the weaponised use of tear gas at demonstrations. But despite human rights concerns, South Korea has authorised a huge shipment of tear gas to Turkey. On 10 February, Ban Tear Gas Initiative (Turkey), Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK), War Resisters' International and World Without War (South Korea) carried out actions in Seoul, Istanbul and London to stop the shipment! (see photos).

04 Feb 2015
English

War Profiteers' News, No 45, February 2015

By Chris Cole

On January 5 I was part of a small group of four people that entered RAF Waddington, the home of UK drone warfare, to protest the growing use of armed drones. British RAF pilots began operating armed US Predator drones in Iraq just over ten years ago before the UK acquired its own Reaper drones in 2007 for use in Afghanistan. Since then UK pilots have launched hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan before returning to Iraq, in November 2014, to begin launching strikes there once again. Along with the US and Israel, the UK is a key proponent of the idea of remote ‘risk free’ warfare.

04 Feb 2015
English

 By Rafael Uzcátegui

In Venezuela, the left and the right agree on one thing – it is a country which is very rich in oil and mining reserves which must be sold as quickly as possible, ignoring the social and environmental consequences of further using the development model based on extractivism.

03 Feb 2015
English

By Colin Archer

03 Feb 2015
English

Daekwang Chemical (hereafter DK) is the largest manufacturer of tear gas products in South Korea. DK was founded 2001 and initially its major area of business was sales of fireworks products. Before DK focused on tear gas business, the company’s sales volume was relatively small. Annual sales volume of DK recorded around USD 1 million.

03 Feb 2015
English

European arms are present in wars and human rights abuses worldwide. Whilst Europe pleads for peace and civilisation, European arms are changing hands in the Middle East.This is not surprising. Our arms export rules aren't watertight at all.

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