Sentencing of total objector Jesse Kamila

Not sent after

Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Prime Minister Jyrki Tapani Katainen). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Dear Prime Minister,

I am extremely concerned to hear of the sentencing of Jesse Kamila, a 24 year-old conscientious objector from Joensuu, Finland. Jesse Kamila was sentenced 180 days of home detention on Tuesday 12 February by Itä-Uudenmaan käräjäoikeus (Eastren Uusimaa district court). He had refused to do military service on 21 May 2012. He was charged with "refusal from civilian service" (siviilipalveluksesta kieltäytyminen).

Jesse Kamila has refused to do civilian service because he sees it as a punishment for refusing violence. Civilian service lasts 347 days, whereas the shortest military service is only 165 days.

The length of the substitute service in this case is therefore punitive. The UN Commission on Human Rights declared that any alternative service required of conscientious objectors in lieu of compulsory military service must be compatible with the reasons for the objection, of a civilian character, in the public interest and not of a punitive nature e.g. in its duration (Resolution 1998/77, OP4.).

Furthermore, in Foin v France (1999) the Human Rights Committee established its position that any difference in length must be “based on reasonable and objective criteria, such as the nature of the specific service concerned, or the need for a special training in order to accomplish that service.”(Foin v France (Communication No. 666/1995), CCPR/C/D/666/1995, 9 November 1999, para. 10.3.)

I urge you to quash the sentence of Jesse Kamila, and change your policies in line with international standards to ensure substitute service is not of a punitive nature.

Yours sincerely,