Conscientious objection

War Resisters' International's work in Colombia

Foro internacionalForo internacionalHannah and Igor recently returned from a trip to Colombia, where they participated in forums and workshops that explored the legal and political tools that can be used to promote conscientious objection.

WRI: campaigning and networking in Colombia

Commission launch, Bogotá, 1st NovemberCommission launch, Bogotá, 1st NovemberThis is write-up of the trip made by Hannah Brock (Right to Refuse to Kill programme worker) and Igor Seke (of the Right to Refuse to Kill committee), from 28th October – 8th November 2013. We were joined by Rachel Brett, of the Quaker United Nations Office [QUNO] (and member of the Right to Refuse to Kill committee), from 30th October – 3rd November.

Spanish version of guide to the international human rights system launched in Bogota

The Spanish language edition of a resource that will help conscientious objectors use international human rights mechanisms was launched this week in Colombia, as part of a forum on the right to conscientious objection to obligatory military service. The public forum, instigated by Acción colectiva de objetores y objetoras de conciencia (ACOOC), explored the political and legal tools that can promote conscientious objection.

Cyprus: small step forward as constitutional court rules on conscientious objection

Related peace activists: 

The case of Murat Kanatli, a CO in Cyprus who declared his conscientious objection in 2009 and has since refused each year to participate in the annual compulsory military exercises in the northern part of Cyprus, has been heard in the Constitutional Court.

Support for Greek COs and European CO Report Launch

Hannah from the Right to Refuse to Kill programme was in Athens this month for the launch of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection's report on the status of conscientious objection in Europe.

New Human Rights Council resolution on CO

The United Nations Human Rights Council have passed a resolution on conscientious objection to military service. This is the first substantive resolution on the subject from the Council, and goes beyond previous resolutions from the Commission on Human Rights (which the Council replaced). It was adopted by consensus.

Conscientious objection to war work

We were glad to read recently of the declaration of Brandon Toy – a conscientious objector to war work. Previously a soldier, and now a 'defense contractor' with General Dynamics Land Systems, Toy's declaration says 'I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down.'

Brandon's position is a powerful reminder that conscientious objection goes far beyond military service, but can encompass rejection of involvement in war, and preparations for war, at many levels.

Conscientious objection to military service (Resolution 2013/24)

The Human Rights Council,

Bearing in mind that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

COs freed in amnesty in Azerbaijan – to mark President's birthday...

Azerbaijan's two known imprisoned conscientious objectors – both Jehovah's Witnesses - have been freed as part of a prisoner amnesty to mark what would have been the late President Heydar Aliev's 90th birthday. Of the two known imprisoned conscientious objectors, Fakhraddin Mirzayev was amnestied on 22 May after eight months' imprisonment and Kamran Mirzayev (no relation) was amnestied on 20 June after three months' imprisonment.

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