Conscientious objection

Conscription: coming slowly to and end in Finland?

Kaj Raninen

Conscription have had a very special role in Finnish society. For decades, conscription for males was seen as an integral part of Finnish society, and for the vast majority of young Finnish men it was self evident that they would do military service. In fact, until the early 1990's, almost 90% of them did it. If someone dared to question conscription system, they were usually ridiculed.

Joint Statement: Freedom to Conscientious Objectors in the Middle East

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Natan Blanc holding pictures of Emad and Mohammed (with thanks for the photo to Yesh Gvul)Natan Blanc holding pictures of Emad and Mohammed (with thanks for the photo to Yesh Gvul)Together, we in No to Compulsory Military Service (Egypt) and New Profile (Israel) confirm our support of peace and of conscientious objectors in both countries, re-affirming the human right to freedom of conscience, faith and self-determination.

Turkey falling short on conscientious objection says EU Commissioner

The Turkish government has been criticised by an EU Commissioner for omitting conscientious objection reform from its package of reforms designed to align Turkish legislation with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

European Commissioner Stefan Füle said on April 12th, “While I understand the focus of the Fourth Judicial Reform package is on compliance with European Court of Human Rights rulings, I note with regret the omission of conscientious objection in the package”.

Special Rapporteur calls for the recognition of conscientious objection in Cyprus

The UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, has highlighted issues with conscientious objection to military service in the Republic of Cyprus and the northern Turkish-administered region.

Turkmen complainants tortured

The cases of ten Turkmen Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors are being considered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The complainants, led by Navruz Nasyrlaev, filed complaints of torture and violation of their rights to freedom of religion or belief with the UN Human Rights Committee on 3 September 2012.

These complaints have noted that in the Seydi Labour Camp - where most conscientious objectors (COs) are held - COs have regularly been subjected to spells in the punishment cell, whilst some have been brutally beaten.

Regression in Greece

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Over the past months, there has been a dramatic upswing in the persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece. All of those listed below have already been tried or imprisoned, some over twenty years ago, and they now face further legal action against them.

These cases include

OHCHR publishes 'Conscientious objection to military service'

The Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a guide to applicable international standards and jurisprudence relating to conscientious objection to military service.

It is designed as a guide for 'State officials who are responsible for implementing laws, administrative decrees or regulations relating to conscientious objection to military service, as well as Members of Parliament and Government officials who may be involved in drafting laws or administrative decrees or regulations on this subject.'

Natan Blanc: Why I will not join the Israeli military

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Natan Blanc is caught in a cat and mouse game with the Israeli authorities: he is being repeatedly released from prison, and then detained again after he refuses to be enlisted in the Israeli army. Here's why he's doing it:

Joint Public Statement - Greece: When will conscientious objectors stop being persecuted?

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New trial for 44 year-old conscientious objector by military court

Nikolaos Karanikas Solidarity 6 March 2013Nikolaos Karanikas Solidarity 6 March 2013

Conscientious Objection as a Strategy

Conscientious objection is perhaps more often seen as a moral imperative than as a strategy. However, in countries with active conscription, there can be different ways of avoiding or delaying military service. Some people gain a medical discharge. Others flee, emigrate, choose professions that are exempt from call up, or bribe officials.

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