Dear reader of co-update e-newsletter. First let me apologise for the lack of a co-update e-newsletter last month - this was due too much work pressure because of the upcoming WRI conference 'Globalising Nonviolence'. And while we are at it - there will not be a co-update e-newsletter in September, as the Right to Refuse to Kill staff will be on sabbatical from 20 August on.
From 18-20 July 2006, the International Meeting on Solidarity with Conscientious Objectors in Colombia took place in Bogota.
The opening speech was given by WRI's Right to Refuse to Kill staff person Andreas Speck, who provided a general panorama on conscientious objection in the world, setting the framework for the meeting.
Despite its commitment to recognise the right to conscientious objection, Azerbaijan has still not passed a law on conscientious objection. As a result, conscientious objectors face trials and sentencing for "refusing to perform military service". Forum 18 reported on 26 July on the six months suspended sentence for Jehovah's Witness CO Mushfiq Mammedov. "My son has done nothing wrong – he's not guilty," Sevil Najafova told Forum 18 from the Azerbaijani capital on 26 July.
1 December - Prisoners for Peace Day: Focus on Russia
Prisoners for Peace Day 2006 will highlight the situation in Russia, with the new NGO law threatening the work of independent NGOs and the war in Chechnya also leading to increased persecution in Russia itself. The Prisoners for Peace campaign pack will be available early November in English, Spanish, French, and German.