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04 Sep 2015
English

Once again we collect the stories for CO-Update, and once again we see small steps towards the recognition of the right to conscientious objection in some countries, as others fall prey to greater militarisation. Despite significant steps forward  in favour of CO's Colombia, we see the ongoing need for resistance to militarism. Similarly, despite recognition of the right to CO in Belarus, CO's continue to fear conscription.

04 Sep 2015
English

The National Assembly of Conscientious Objectors in Colombia have released a statement criticising the ongoing use of 'batida' raids, despite the practise being declared illegal by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Arrest (Opinion 8/08) and the Constitutional Court in Sentences. The statement insists that the practise is stopped, along with any other form of forced recruitment into the Colombian military, and calls for solutions to conflict “different to the fratricidal war that has written Colombian history”.

04 Sep 2015
English

On 18th June, the Ukrainian military began it's sixth wave of conscription. This follows several other conscription 'waves' aimed at increasing the Ukrainian military by 50,000 people – a process that has only been 50% successful, with many desertions, and people travelling to work abroad to avoid conscription. Peter Mehed, the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister said that further waves of conscription could take place if the military did not reach it's target this time.

04 Sep 2015
English

At the end of July, the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad announced an amnesty for Syrian men who have previously evaded conscription to the military – an offence punishable by imprisonment or, in some cases, death. After four years of war the Syrian military's ranks are depleted, with some estimating that, due to deaths and defections the size of the military has been halved since 2011. Defectors now abroad have two months to return, those still inside Syria have one month – there were no details given for draft evaders.

04 Sep 2015
English

On the 11th August, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambaev, signed amendments into the law on Military Duties For Kyrgyz Citizens that allowed for some 'officially recognised' religious groups to avoid military service. The religious group must reject military service, and the CO must pay a fee of 18-20,000 soms ($285-300).

For more information, see http://www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan-conscientious-objectors/27183276.html

 

04 Sep 2015
English

There are reports that conscription could return to South Africa in 2016 – there has been no conscription in the country since 1994, when the first multi-racial elections took place. According to 'City Press', plans are being finalised for a youth programme that would see young people over the age of 18 sent for military training. According to the website BusinessTech, the ANC-led South African government has claimed that the programme is designed to “combat youth unemployment, instill discipline, patriotism and volunteerism.”

04 Sep 2015
English

A conscientious objector to military service in Belarus has been threatened with conscription, Forum 18 News Service has learned, even though President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 4 June signed into law an Alternative Service Law. But on 11 June Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector Dmitry Chorba, from Rechitsa in Gomel Region, had a case under Criminal Code Article 435, Part 1 ("Refusal of call-up to military service") filed against him by the local Military Conscription Office. Although it appears that the case has been closed he fears a renewed call-up in the Autumn.

04 Sep 2015
English

In Turkey, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) have submitted a law to the Turkish parliament, proposing that Turkey acknowledges the right to conscientious objection. HDP joined the parliament in Turkey in the most recent round of elections in June 2015, when the ruling AKP lost their parliamentary majority. Turkey does not currently recognise the right to conscientious objection, and people who declare conscientious objection are....

04 Sep 2015
English

On 20 July, an 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. WRI affiliate Vicdani Ret Derneği have released a statement that includes Polen and Alper's CO declarations, which we quote here:

28 Aug 2015
English

Would you like to take action against the militarisation of youth? You can join War Resisters' International's week of action from 14-20 November (as an individual or as a group).

28 Aug 2015
English

David Scheuing

London: On my daily way back home I often pass by heavily armed police “safe”guarding citizens, infrastructure, life and economy: in the metro, at the station, always watchful. Yet this vigilance is neither harmless, nor innocent. It kills. This July has seen the 10th sad anniversary of Jean Charles de Mendenez' killing on a stuffed metroline train in London's Stockwell Station.1

26 Aug 2015
English

Sanjar Saidov

One of the significant factors impeding the process of integration between Central Asian countries is the question of water and energy resources of this region. The historical prerequisites of the present-day situation go back to the times of the former Soviet Union. In this era, the region relied upon a united water, energy and socio-economic system on an all-union scale; the division of all significant resources, including both water and energy resources from the direction of the so-called Centre - in other words Moscow. The collapse of this centralised system, with the countries of Central Asia acquiring national independence, changed not only the socio-economic status but also the geopolitical situation in the region.

21 Aug 2015
English

Ranabir Samaddar

Il a été dit avec raison que le 20ème siècle resterait dans l'histoire comme le siècle des partitions. Les frontières partitionnées, c'est-à-dire les frontières qui découlent de la partition d'un pays (comme la Corée, l'Allemagne divisée d'autrefois ou l'Inde) sont des frontières violentes. Elles sont marquées par une présence militaire. La partition donne lieu à une immigration forcée qui touche les réfugiés mais aussi d'autres types d'immigrants, comme les minorités enfermées sur leurs propres terres. La partition pose également la question cruciale du retour. Les réfugiés de partition ont-ils droit au retour ? S'ils ont la permission de rentrer, alors à quel moment ont-ils la permission de retourner dans le pays d'où ils viennent? Sous quelles conditions? Il peut très bien s'agir de retours de force. C'est au travers de ce prisme que nous pouvons en apprendre plus sur les histoires de violence, de carnage et de déplacements massifs du temps de l'Empire Ottoman uni, de l'Allemagne, de la Palestine, de la Corée, de l'Irlande et de l'Inde. Ce sont des événements déterminants dans l'histoire de l'immigration forcée du siècle dernier.<--break- />

18 Aug 2015
English

Stephanie Demblon

“Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy” - this is Frontexit’s campaign slogan regarding the respect of migrants’ human rights at the borders of the European Union. Usually addressed from a humanitarian angle (guilty of negligence to basic migrant rights) or a political one (the question of migratory flux management and distribution), the subject is rarely connected to the European arms market. And yet…

11 Aug 2015
English

assembled by David Scheuing

KAL_Ammo valley cover: Pakistan-IndiaKAL_Ammo valley cover: Pakistan-India

 

 

 

 

India-Pakistan borderIndia-Pakistan border

11 Aug 2015
English

Ranabir Samaddar

It has been rightly said that the twentieth century will be remembered as a century of partitions. Partitioned borders that is to say borders produced out of partitions of countries (like Korea, erstwhile divided Germany, India) are violent borders. Military presence marks the borderlands. Partition leads to forced migration - refugee flows and flows of other types like immigrants from stranded minority communities in homelands. Partition also makes the question of return crucial. Do partition refugees have right to return? If they have the right to return, then what is the period within which they will enjoy the right of return to the countries they came from? Also, will there be certain conditions, in as much as we know that there may be forced return. This is the prism in which we can learn the histories of violence, bloodshed, and massive displacement in the erstwhile united Ottoman Empire, Germany, Palestine, Korea, Ireland, and India. These are some of the major events to shape the story of forced migration in the last century.<--break- />

11 Aug 2015
English

Ainhoa Ruiz Benedicto

Border Matter_HDR 2009Border Matter_HDR 2009The 3,169 km of the US-Mexico border line has become an insurmountable, heavily militarised and controlled barrier. The deployment of security forces, border controls and weaponry is very similar to that of two countries in a state of armed tension. There is not a single section of this boundary that is free of steel fences, surveillance cameras, blackhawk helicopters, Predator drones; or border patrol, immigration and customs protection officers, whose presence has doubled in the last six years to reach 25,000 agents.

11 Aug 2015
English

Pedro Rios

Justicia para AnastasioJusticia para Anastasio

On May 28, 2015, in San Diego, California, hundreds gathered for an evening rally and march to commemorate the National Day of Action to Stop Border Brutality. The San Diego activity was part of a coordinated set of non-violent actions where organizations at nine cities across the United States convened various events to raise their voices against increased impunity by border agents who have been implicated in at least 39 deaths since 2010. Led by the Southern Border Communities Coalition, comprised of over 65 organizations working along the US-Mexico border, the coordinated rallies, marches, and film screenings also highlighted the 5th year anniversary of the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a father of five who in 2010 was tortured to death by over a dozen border agents at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry in San Diego.

OXI

11 Aug 2015
English

Paolo Novak

greece_oxi_global_justice_now_CCgreece_oxi_global_justice_now_CCI write this as the results from the Greek referendum on the bailout programme proposed by the Troika (EU, IMF and European Central Bank) make headlines in newspapers and bulletins (July 2015). The resounding NO (oxi) to austerity that the referendum results returned may seem somewhat detached from the concerns of this TBR issue –and yet they are not, in a number of ways.

11 Aug 2015
English

Adele Jarrar

The militarization of borders has occurred since ancient times, and locating 'political' frontiers has been a necessary condition all along, for instance, The Great Wall of China, of which Emperor Qin Shi Huang started its earlier sections In 220 BC as a defensible wall against Northern invasions. In the modern era, we can find several examples of militarized borders, such as the Pakistan / India borders, USA / Mexico, and 'Israel' / Palestine. Actually the obsession with 'frontiers' has developed to an extent that we can now even find 'autonomous' agencies whose aim is managing the cooperation with foreign borders guards, including questions of illegal immigration, human trafficking and 'terrorist infiltration', such as "FRONTEX", the EU border agency, which was established in 2004 (FRONTEX, 2007). In this article, however, I will discuss the Apartheid wall in Palestine.

11 Aug 2015
English

Daniel R. Mekonnen1

 

1. Introduction

The European Union (EU) has one of the most dangerous borders in its southern tip, across the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In recent years, this maritime border, particularly the Italian Peninsula, has become a mass grave of migrants by reason of tragic boat accidents that took place time and again, often times in distances so close to coastal towns that they could have provided timely interventions of rescue. This issue has caused a great deal of embarrassment on the part of some European institutions, as it is happening partly due to lack of an effective intervention strategy on the part of the EU. This points out that legal security and the provisions that safeguard human rights are in stark contrast to the militarised security of the borders.

11 Aug 2015
English

Peter D Jones

Since the end of the Cold War, the dream of a peace dividend has disappeared as militarisation simply shifts its focus to find new areas of conflict. In the Asia-Pacific region, where nation states are a relatively new feature of history, border disputes have inevitably resurfaced. In the 21st century, it is not only land borders that are the subject of disputes but sea boundaries as nations jockey for control of underwater resources. At the same time, the USA has opted to shit its geostrategic focus from Europe to Asia, and new nations and alliances have emerged, as we have become a multi-polar world rather than one with just two superpowers, then only one. In addition, a number of developing nations are using their new wealth to build up and modernise their armed forces, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.<--break- />

11 Aug 2015
English

Christopher McMichael

The South African government’s official policy on borders and immigration is coached in the language of human rights and opening up colonial era boundaries in Africa. But the reality is more authoritarian and brutal – economic migrants and asylum seekers, particularly from other African countries, are regular targets for violent harassment by the police, are illegally denied access to basic services like hospitals or sent to detention facilities. State officials are heavily invested in rhetoric about border security and constantly make ominous statements about foreign threats to the South African homeland, from transnational drug smuggling to rhino poaching. Of course, this is not novel or particular to South Africa. States have historically used physical borders and violence to delineate outsiders from citizens, while also combining military operations outside their territory with domestic policing. This is becoming even more apparent with the modern wars on drugs and terror, in which wars and operations abroad are combined with the extension of surveillance and restrictions on civil liberties. <--break- />

10 Aug 2015
English

Léopold Lambert

Fortress NorthFortress NorthThe easiness of traveling within the Globalized North for its citizens only equals the difficulty for someone to access this part of the world. The map presented here attempts to illustrate this antagonism between Fortress North and the rest of the world. Schengen, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Israel, North America, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand form the Globalized North and their borders with other countries are militarized to insure the control of migration towards them. The following list will briefly describe the numerous apparatuses that materialize borders, control bodies, and sometimes even see the latter die.

10 Aug 2015
English

Theodore Baird1

A number of scholars, journalists, and activists have argued that we may be witnessing the development of a ‘security-industrial complex’ in Europe which resembles the earlier ‘military-industrial complex’ of the Cold War. The border security-industrial complex refers to the relations between military, security, and private industry within a global market for the design and implementation of border security technologies. The main actors are governments, suppliers of security technologies, and security forces demanding use of new technologies for controlling and managing state borders. The types of industrial actors which supply border security technology range from general and specialized equipment providers (small and medium enterprises primarily) to larger systems integrators (transnational defence firms such as Thales, Finmeccanica, Sagem, Airbus, Indra Sistemas, BAE Systems, among others). The larger companies have experience as defence firms working to develop military and aerospace capabilities. Customers are primarily governments (and their associated security apparatuses), as the industry is dependent on economies of scale (from smaller, local economies of police or gendarmerie units to larger, regional economies such as the European Union). Many companies re-purpose military technology for use in border control and surveillance, even when the effect of such ‘dual-use’ technologies on civilian mobile populations is unknown.

27 Jul 2015
English

This year, the annual ENAAT (European Network Against Arms Trade) meeting took place from 15th to 17th May in Brno, Czech Republic. Organized by NESEHNUTÍ, a local NGO, the aim of the meeting was to strengthen the cooperation among the ENAAT members, and to come up with some new ideas regarding ENAAT’s future and discuss the trends of the arms trade of European countries, many of which keep preferring business to human rights by selling arms and weapons to authoritarian and oppressive regimes.

27 Jul 2015
English

According to Geoff Rochwarger, CEO of Afek, energy independence is the new Zionism.

Recent other nonviolence resources related posts