Conscientious objection

Natan Blanc becomes Israel's most imprisoned CO, and is then released

Those of you on our CO-Alert email list will have been aware of the situation of Natan Blanc. After ten imprisonments, Israeli CO Natan Blanc was exempted from military service. The Israeli military's Exemption Committee declared Natan unfit for duty on 30th May, six months after he initially reported to the induction centre and declared his refusal.

Armenia: possible end to the jailing of COs

Armenia's Ministry of Justice has presented to parliament amendments to provide for a substitute 'civilian' service. These have now passed all their readings, and therefore the amendments to the 2003 Alternative Service Law and to the 2003 Law on Implementing the Criminal Code should be enacted.

Recent CO-alerts

In the previous month(s), the WRI office issued the following co-alerts:

(a full archive of co-alerts is available at

Conscientious objection: today and tomorrow

The Broken Rifle No. 96, May 2013

Vengeance will be ours - message from Britain First, a right-wing militarist group in BritainVengeance will be ours - message from Britain First, a right-wing militarist group in Britain

In London on 22nd May, a soldier walking back to his barracks was killed by two people armed with knives. The soldier was a white member of the British army, the attackers black men of the Muslim faith.

The response, witnessed on social and mainstream media, as well as in streets, buses and pubs, has included a torrent of racist, Islamophobic and nationalistic abuse. I noticed with sadness that a friend of mine 'shared' a post on social media from a group called Britain First that read: 'THEY'VE KILLED ONE OF OUR BOYS IN WOOLWICH...KICK THE BASTARDS OUT NOW'.

A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System launched

Empowering conscientious objectors to take advantage of human rights mechanisms

We're extremely happy to announce the launch of 'A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System'. This is an update of 'A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights System', published in 2000, and covers the multitude of developments that have taken place in terms of human rights and conscientious objection since then.

The Insumisión movement against military service in Spain: legitimate disobedience

Carlos Pérez Barranco

In December 2001, the last recruits abandoned military barracks across Spain after having completed the final nine months of obligatory military service. In many European states, the end of forced recruitment had been motivated almost exclusively by the military forces' evolution towards global intervention operations, whilst in Spain the system of forced recruitment had collapsed despite years of government efforts.

Crackdown on Greek COs was expected and may intensify

Since the beginning of the year, a crackdown on conscientious objectors (and maybe draft evaders in general) has taken place in Greece. The arrest of 44 year old Nikolaos Karanikas in February, followed by that of 37 year old Haralampos Akrivopoulos in March, and of 30 year old Menelaos Exioglou in April, were the first after many years of relative calm. In this period, COs who were total objectors or refused to accept a punitive alternative service were still prosecuted and sentenced (some times in absentia) - to suspended prison sentences, in military courts - but without arrests.

Joe Glenton: why I refused to fight in Afghanistan

Conscientious Objector Joe Glenton and author of Soldier Box, speaking on why he refused to serve in Afghanistan:

As part of the panel as part of the COnscription exhibition on International Conscientious Objectors Day:

With thanks to Paul at Fourman Films for this:

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