Conscientious objection

Regional solidarity actions for Cypriot CO Murat Kanatlı

Istanbul: The Conscientious Objection Association of TurkeyIstanbul: The Conscientious Objection Association of TurkeyFollowing a meeting in Cyprus of conscientious objector and war refuser movements in the Eastern Mediterranean region at the end of January, when CO in Cyprus Murat Kanatlı (and co-organiser of the meeting in Nicosia) was imprisoned for ten days in February, solidarity actions took place in Turkey, Greece and Israel (by Druze Palestinian objectors).

Solidarity for Omar Saad in Athens, 6th April 2014

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Solidarity for Omar Saad in AthensSolidarity for Omar Saad in Athens

Action against the imprisonment of Omar Saad in front of the Greek Parliament at 'Syntagma' Square (Constitution Square) in Athens. 6th April 2014, by activists from Amnesty International in Greece.

The movement for Druze refusers in Israel

Those of you subscribed to WRI's CO Alerts will have recognised a new wave of Druze Palestinian refusers in Israel. These include Omar Saad and Seif Abu Seif. One of the movement's activists, Maisan Hamdan, wrote for WRI on the campaign in the latest CO Update. Activists with the Druze refusers group attended a meeting of CO and war refuser movements in the Eastern Mediterrean recently, sign up for the nex CO Update to see a report of this meeting.

Insumisión: 25 years of disobedience

20 February was the 25th anniversary of the first  presentation of insumisos to compulsory military service in the state of Spain. Thousands followed, in squares, courts, and even in prison. Niether civilian or military courts, disqualifications or prison could stop insumisión. In fact, by assuming the consequences of their desobedience,  turn on a loudspeaker for their demands. WRI supported the movement since the first declarations of insumisión, and continues to work closely with Alternativa Antimilitarista MOC. We celebrate 25 years of disobedience!

Let Them Stay Week: War Resisters' Support Campaign in Canada protests deportations

The Canadaian War Resisters' Support Campaign held a week of action from January 12 to 19th, asking Canadians across the country to send a message that U.S. war resisters are welcome in Canada, and that the Canadian government must stop the deportations and enact a provision to let them stay.

For 'Let Them Stay Week 2014', activists joined in on social media, by writing to local papers, lobbying the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and promoting public meetings and debates.

'We will never under any circumstances be a piece in this sexist, racist, militarist system, neither as a village-guards nor as soldiers'

Kill Militarism (Turkish)Kill Militarism (Turkish)December saw 45 Kurdish men and women in Turkey declaring their conscientious objection 'in order to remember the 34 young men killed in the Roboski massacre two years ago', through the Roboski Conscientious Objection and Amed (Diyarbakir) Conscientious Objection Initiatives. The death of 34 young men occurred at the Turkish-Iraqi border, when two Turkish F16 jets fired at a group of villagers, claiming to act on information that PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) militants were crossing the border. Faruk Encü, making a statement in the name of the Roboski Conscientious Objection Initiative, said “Here we are calling once again on those village-guards that have been made into a part of this militarist process, to those who are sending those close to them and their children to do military service, and to those people who are part of this war-making machine to make a few cents. Reject taking up arms for a sexist structure that has his turned this region into a graveyard of peoples, and if you have already taken up arms immediately correct this wrong.

Guidelines on refugee status related to military service

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has issued guidelines on claims to refugee status related to military service. These Guidelines focus on individuals who seek international protection as refugees to avoid recruitment and service in State armed forces, including conscientious objectors, as well as forced recruitment by non-State armed groups. They provide guidance for governments, decision makers, lawyers and the judiciary as well as UNHCR staff.

Refuse, Your people will protect you.

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"In the year 1949 and after the establishment of the state of Israel, minorities were emancipated from serving in the Israeli army. In the year 1954, the security office attempted to recruit all the Arab citizens in the country, yet, the attempts failed by facing a strict refusal. In the year 1956, the Palestinian Druze youth were compulsorily recruited to serve in the Israeli army, and in the year 1958 the Circassian youth were compulsorily recruited". (The law of serving the security in the state of Israel).

This is how the Arab Druze youth were recruited in the Israeli army by the order of Israeli minister of security and under the name of "law". This proves the inaccuracy of the Israeli narrative that claims: "Druze approached the state requesting to serve in the army.

New Book: Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Human Rights Law

Since the 1950s, the right to conscientious objection to military service in international human rights law has excited the interest of both non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations in a variety of contexts. This book examines the subject, beginning with an exploration of the concept of conscience and its evolution with a view toward understanding the meaning and potential scope of the right to conscientious objection from a legal perspective. It also describes the different categories into which conscientious objectors can be divided, explain the differences between these categories, and investigate how these differences are interpreted at national and international levels. It then investigates the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in international human rights law. In this regard, this book deeply analyzes human rights law at both the international and regional level, examining UN, European, and Inter-American mechanisms.

A Campaign to End the Indefinite National Service Slavery in Eritrea

A campaign has been launched by Eritreans in Diaspora to stop slavery in Eritrea. They regard military service as slavery since 20,000 Eritreans aged between 17 and 50 years are forced to enrol in national service each year, “required to work for unspecified periods, in slave-like conditions”, or else face incarceration in Eritrea's notorious prison system, where detainees are seldom released.

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