Conscientious objection

Colombia: new report shows banned recruitment practices are still used; Constitutional Court urges release of student recruited

A new report from ACOOC addresses recruitment to the military in Colombia, focusing on the phenomenon of arbitrary detention - usually undertaken through batidas (raids). Though batidas are banned, this report shows that, in practice, they are still common.

The report has been produced by the Acción colectiva de objetores y objetoras de conciencia (ACOOC: Conscientious Objectors' Collective Action) based on information collected in conjunction with other organisations and groups in the Proceso Distrital de Objeción de Conciencia.

In January, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the army should release Cristian Andrés Cortés Calderón. Cristian had been recruited last August, whilst he was still in his final year of high school. Students are allowed to postone military service, but Cristian was nonetheless called up. In court, Cristian's father said that Cristian also works at night in a supermarket to financially support his family. The court ordered that he be released from the military within 48 hours.

The Court however also ruled that Cristian would still be liable for conscription when his studies end.

Sources: corteconstitucional, Sentencia T-004/16, 19 January 2016; Caracol Radio, Ejército no puede reclutar a estudiantes de bachillerato así sean mayores de edad, 23 February 2016.

Bolivia: solidarity statement from Colombian objectors after CO loses his case; court rules recent lowering in the age of recruitment to 17 years unconstitutional

Bolivian army training. Photo: USASOC News ServiceBolivian army training. Photo: USASOC News ServiceColombian conscientious objectors have released a statement with conscientious objectors in Bolivia. Read it here in English (Spanish version here).

The statement protests the decision of the Bolivian Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal to reject the application of 18-year-old objector Ignacio Orías Calvo to be recognised as a CO. The statement ends  'We furthermore show support for objectors such as Ignacio Orías Calvo, along with all of the teachers who strive to enforce nonviolent mentalities; with all of the women who every day have to face the deadly consequences of a damaging, chauvanistic patriarchy; and with the thousands of young indigenous and farmers that even today, 500 years after the violent conquest, are still needing to be “civilized” under the slogan “God and Country.”'

New conscientious objector in Egypt

WRI's Egyptian affiliate NoMilService are working with a new conscientious objector, Samir Elsharbaty. Samir has requested his exemption from the service in March. You can find NoMilService's statement supporting him here.

Statement of conscientious objectors from eastern Mediterranean region

Solidarity action outside the Israeli embassy in Athens for Tair Kaminer, Israeli CO currently in jailSolidarity action outside the Israeli embassy in Athens for Tair Kaminer, Israeli CO currently in jailConscientious objector groups from the eastern Mediterranean region have recently issued a statement on the ongoing military crisis in their region. Declaring their solidarity with refugees escaping from war and repression, they made a call to the international community to pursue peaceful solutions, rather than militarised ones, for the ongoing violence in the region. “The world's reaction to the current regional violence,” the statement declares, “should be building societies, assisting refugees, and mediating between fighting parties, not selling arms, bombings and providing military assistance.”

Read more...

Solidarity action for Tair Kaminer in Athens

Related peace activists: 

Amnesty International in Greece held a solidarity action for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer on 20th March 2016, when Tair was in prison for the third time.

 

Turkish court says: "We think that your thought isn’t a thought – so you can’t benefit from freedom of thought!"

 Sentez yoksa düşünce yok, düşünce yoksa özgürlük de yok

ONUR EREM / @onurerem - BİRGÜN NEWSPAPER

Turkish courts have released the detailed ruling against Yannis Vasilis Yaylali, a conscientious objector from Turkey who was convicted for violating a highly controversial penal code, Article 318 – “alienating public from military service”. The details show that Turkish courts are having a go at philosophy in order to sentence Yaylali to 7 months and 15 days in prison. The court simply argued that Yaylali’s thoughts are not real thoughts, thus he can’t benefit from freedom of thought!

Objeción de conciencia al servicio militar

La Razón (Edición Impresa) / Ramiro Sánchez Morales

Según la doctrina, la objeción de conciencia es la potestad que tiene una persona para resistirse a obedecer un imperativo o mandato jurídico invocando la existencia de un dictamen de conciencia que le impide sujetarse al comportamiento prescrito por el ordenamiento.

Es, pues, una potestad que permite al individuo negarse a cumplir una obligación establecida por el Estado, como es, entre otros, el servicio militar obligatorio, cuando esa actividad constituye la realización de conductas que se contraponen a sus convicciones íntimas, de manera que los Estados, en el marco de las normas previstas por el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, lo consagran como un medio o mecanismo de exoneración de la obligación estatal.

Statement of conscientious objectors’ groups from eastern Mediterranean region

We are conscientious objectors from all around the eastern Mediterranean region. Our region has suffered for so long from oppression, injustice, militarisation, military occupations and wars, as well as poverty, illiteracy, hunger and lack of social infrastructure. In this difficult period, when our region seems to fall even more into the chaos of war, we raise a common voice for peace and against militarisation.

We refuse to allow this cycle of violence, initiated by oppressive states and economic interests, to continue; we refuse to be a part of it; we refuse to be enemies with people who just happen to be of a different nationality or religion; we will not be dragged into their wars and armies leading to death and destruction in the region.

'No to Equality in Militarism!'

The Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors have co-signed a statement with feminist collective TO MOV, rejecting the proposal from the Ministry of Defence to effectively extend conscription to some women.

Ukrainian conscientious objector on trial

Ukrainian journalist and CO Ruslan Kotsaba is on trial in Ivano-Frankivsk. Ruslan has been in detention for almost a year, charged with treason and obstructing the military.  In a video addressed to the Ukrainian President, he declared his refusal to be drafted, saying he would rather go to prison for five years than turn a weapon on his "compatriots in the east".

Syndicate content